• Athletics

The longest-standing athletics records

ESPN staff
January 13, 2014
Carl Lewis and Mike Powell share an embrace © Getty Images

You wrote recently about the longest-standing Olympic records. What's the longest-standing record from the World Athletics Championships? Is it Mike Powell's long jump? asked Chris Majendie

Mike Powell set the current long-jump world record of 8.95m during the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.

That's obviously still a record for the World championships as well, but there are two older such records still standing on the men's list.

Both date from 1987: no-one has yet bettered Billy Konchellah's time in winning the 800m in Rome, while Werner Gunthor's shot-put mark (22.23m) remains the Championship record too.

It's a different story on the women's side: two records set in the inaugural world championships in Helsinki back in 1983 still stand - the powerful Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova's times for the 400 and 800m.

More than 30 years later, Kratochvilova still holds the 800m world record, which she set in Munich shortly before those 1983 World Championships. Her 400m mark in Helsinki was also a world record at the time, but that was broken by Marita Koch two years later.

The current World Championship records for the women's 200m (set by Silke Gladisch in 1987), discus (Martina Hellman, 1987), high jump (Stefka Kostadinova, 1987), shot put (Natalya Lisovskaya in 1987; equalled by Valerie Adams in 2013) and the long jump and heptathlon (both set by Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1987) all also pre-date Mike Powell's 1991 feat.

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