All major world records in women's running -
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All major world records in women's running

Written by RUN:TRACK:RUN 10722
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This is a collection of videos of all women's world records for the distances contested in IAAF world championships excluding relays. Men's records were listed in a previous post.

Florence Griffith-Joyner

Flo-Jo was on the top of the sprinting world at the end of the 80's. Her world record in the 100m was set at the US Olympic trials in -88 held in Indianapolis. The record is controversial due to the wind. The record was set in the quarter finals on a windy day and all other races and jumps had strong winds recorded. Only this particular race had 0.0 m/s recorded. It was most probably due to a malfunction of the wind gauge but the record still stands. Excluding this 10.49 time, her 10.61 from the finals would be the world record today.

She set the 200m record to 21.34 in the Seoul Olympics the same year.

More controversy

There has been many testimonials about drug use in eastern Europe in the 80's. Two runners who met a lot of suspicion, but never got suspended, were Marita Koch of East Germany and Jarmila Kratochvílová of Czechoslovakia. Koch set world records in the 400m 7 times. Her best time of 47.60 was set in the World Cup in Canberra in 1985. The record Koch broke was set by Kratochvílová who was the first woman to run sub 48 seconds in -83. Kratochvílová also set the world record in the 800m in Munich the same year with a time of 1:53.28.

Ethiopian distance domination

We need to move 30 years forward from the sprint records of the 80's to get to the current long distance records. Ethiopian women has broken all these records in the last few years, starting with Genzebe Dibaba in the 1500m in Monaco in 2015. With a 3:50.07 she broke the old record of Qu Yunxia set in -93.

The 5000m record was set by Letesenbet Gidey in a race in Valencia that was set up only to break the world record. With a time of 14:06.62 she broke the record of Tirunesh Dibaba, the older sister of aforementioned Genzebe.

Gidey also holds the 10 000m record with a time of 29:01.03 set at the Ethiopian Olympic trials in 2021. She took 5s of the two days old world record set by Sifan Hassan set at the same venue in Hengelo.

Road records

The womens road records can be tricky to keep track of since the introduction of "mixed sex" and "women only" world records. That makes four records in total for marathon and half marathon. All of them has been broken since 2017.

Half marathon - mixed sex, 1:02:52 by Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia 2021.
Half marathon - women only, 1:05:16 by Peres Jepchirchir in Gdynia 2020.
Marathon - mixed sex, 2:14:04 by Brigid Kosgei in Chicago 2019.
Marathon - women only, 2:17:01 by Mary Keitany in London 2017.

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