TRACK STATS

, 15 Aug 2016

Pierre-Jean Vazel breaks down the South African's race in Rio.

, 14 Aug 2016

Try as they might to stop him, Mo reigns supreme in the Rio 10,000m final.

, 20 Aug 2016

Lalova may have finished last in the women's 200m final, but did manage the fast reaction time of any sprinter in any final.

, 27 Aug 2015

See how the South African's world championship run in Beijing compares to Johnson's world record.

, 14 Oct 2016

One of Britain's finest athletes has hung up her spikes.

, 4 May 2017

Will Dibaba's debut 800m in Doha push Semenya to a new level?

, 12 Apr 2017

Eight fantasy teams do battle in our latest chart.

, 21 Aug 2016

Semenya proved her total dominance over the field in Rio—and she could still go faster.

, 24 Mar 2017

Most indoor performers will improve outdoors, but it might be the slowest 400m runners who have the most to gain.

, 3 May 2017

If you want the glory of a fast time, don't go on the first leg.

, 4 May 2017

Will Dibaba's debut 800m in Doha push Semenya to a new level?

, 3 May 2017

If you want the glory of a fast time, don't go on the first leg.

, 12 Apr 2017

Eight fantasy teams do battle in our latest chart.

Rio 2016 charts sprints Diamond League splits Beijing 2015 400m sponsors world records prize money relays heptathlon indoors 800m decathlon trends rankings Dibaba field nations long distances steeplechase

Dibaba and Semenya go head to head

Will Dibaba's debut 800m in Doha push Semenya to a new level?
4 May 2017

Who ran the quickest women’s 800m time at the 2015 world championships and didn’t medal in the event? Genzebe Dibaba of course—blitzing a 1:56.9 split in the last 800m of her 1500m final. It’s the closest time to a PB we have since, remarkably, the Doha Diamond League will be her debut in the event.

It won’t be easy. Caster Semenya was unbeaten over the 800m in 2016. No one got close either. Remarkably she ran a negative split when she achieved her PB and Olympic title. It was in Doha last year when she stormed the last 100m in 13.6 seconds, which PJ Vazel reckons might be the fastest finish by a women in the 800m. All this suggests that she might holding back—partly because she doesn’t need to lay it all out on the track since no one has pushed her, yet.

This chart is not like for like, but here’s how Dibaba’s last 800m (about 2:01) of her 1500m world record compares with Semenya’s Rio PB. Dibaba will be a formidable opponent with her 1500m strength and ability to finish fast. However, it seems likely that Semenya’s 50-second 400m speed coupled with her 800m experience should be enough for her to win this time.

Dibaba v Semenya: 100m splits over 800m

Dibaba on way to 1500m WR, Semenya Rio 800m final

*Semenya’s offical splits starts at 200m (27.6), so we have (crudely) divided this by two for 100m and 200m times

Too early for a fast time?

Semenya has raced four times over the 800m so far this season. Her 2017 best is 2:00.99, just off her pace last year—but by the end of May 2016 she had gone 1:56. Could Pamela Jelimo’s 1:56.94 meet record be at risk? Jelimo also holds the best in the month of May at 1:55.76. Fast times are possible at this time of year, but it might have been better to see this match up later in the season with both athletes race ready.

Broader implications

Once again, there’s a broader narrative at play. The intersex question has been dodged by administrators, with non-intersex athletes set to be locked out of the championship medals again. And what if Semenya breaks the longest-lasting world record in the sport? Will it become another administrative task to remove and reallocate later?

Dibaba, who broke an “unbreakable” record herself, also has a cloud of her own. The arrest of her coach in June last year, reportedly with a stash of EPO, was big news. But somehow it’s slipped off the radar and his athletes are breaking records again.

The proposal to reset all the world records pre-2005 implies the sport has reached a new stage of enlightenment and integrity. But pressing issues haven’t gone away and if we don’t address them world record resetting could become a regular fixture. We are already approaching dangerous territory when setting records and allocating medals becomes an administrative task—rather than a real-time athletic achievement.

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Longest-lasting world records

Diamond League Prize Money 2016

Rio 2016: event profiles

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, 12 Sep 2016

Diamond League review: prize money

We have a final tally for the Diamond League prize money rankings, but what else can we discover from the data?

, 21 Aug 2016

Women’s 800m splits: negative split for Semenya

Semenya proved her total dominance over the field in Rio—and she could still go faster.

, 16 Aug 2016

Splits: 800m men’s final

Sometimes fortune favours the brave, but Kipketer's opening 23.2 200m in the Rio final just made him look a bit silly.

, 10 Jul 2016

US 2016 trials: men’s 800m final splits

Boris Berian's bold and entertaining "catch me if you can" tactic came undone.

, 10 May 2016

Doha report: Ibarguen makes her mark

It's only May but the season is already heating up—and the women's triple jump looks set to lead the way

, 29 Apr 2016

Which Diamond League meet offers the best value?

We look at Diamond League ticket prices relative to the quality on show—sometimes cheaper is better