Women's 400 metres world record progression

The first world record in the 400 m for women (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1957.

To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 27 world records in the event. Their 2009 record progression list, however, lists 26 records.[1]

Record progression 1957–1976Edit

Time Auto Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
57.0y Marlene Mathews   Australia Sydney, Australia 6 January 1957[1]
57.0y Marise Chamberlain   New Zealand Christchurch, New Zealand 16 February 1957[1]
56.3y Nancy Boyle   Australia Sydney, Australia 24 February 1957[1]
55.2 Polina Lazareva   Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union 10 May 1957[1]
54.0 Mariya Itkina   Soviet Union Minsk, Soviet Union 8 June 1957[1]
53.6 Mariya Itkina   Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union 6 July 1957[1]
53.4+ Mariya Itkina   Soviet Union Krasnodar, Soviet Union 12 September 1959[1]
53.4 Mariya Itkina   Soviet Union Belgrade, Yugoslavia 14 September 1962[1]
51.9 Shin Geum-Dan   North Korea Pyongyang, North Korea 23 October 1962[1]
51.7 51.72 Nicole Duclos   France Athens, Greece 18 September 1969[1]
51.7 51.74 Colette Besson   France Athens, Greece 18 September 1969[1]
51.0 51.02 Marilyn Neufville   Jamaica Edinburgh, Scotland 23 July 1970[1]
51.0 51.08 Monika Zehrt   East Germany Paris, France 4 July 1972[1]
49.9 Irena Szewińska   Poland Warsaw, Poland 22 June 1974[1]

(y) indicates time for 440 yards (402.34 metres), ratified as a record for this event
(+) plus sign denotes en route time during longer race

The "Time" column indicates the ratified mark; the "Auto" column indicates a fully automatic time that was also recorded in the event when hand-timed marks were used for official records, or which was the basis for the official mark, rounded to the 10th of a second, depending on the rules then in place.

Record progression from 1975Edit

From 1975, the IAAF accepted separate automatically electronically timed records for events up to 400 metres. Starting January 1, 1977, the IAAF required fully automatic timing to the hundredth of a second for these events.[1]

Riitta Salin's 50.14 from 1974 was the fastest recorded result to that time.

Time Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
50.14 Riitta Salin   Finland Rome, Italy 4 September 1974[1]
49.77 Christina Brehmer   East Germany Dresden, East Germany 9 May 1976[1]
49.75 Irena Szewińska   Poland Bydgoszcz, Poland 22 June 1976[1]
49.29 Irena Szewińska   Poland Montreal, Canada 29 July 1976[1]
49.19 Marita Koch   East Germany Leipzig, East Germany 2 July 1978[1]
49.03 Marita Koch   East Germany Potsdam, East Germany 19 August 1978[1]
48.94 Marita Koch   East Germany Prague, Czechoslovakia 31 August 1978[1]
48.89 Marita Koch   East Germany Potsdam, East Germany 29 July 1979[1]
48.60 Marita Koch   East Germany Turin, Italy 4 August 1979[1]
48.16 Marita Koch   East Germany Athens, Greece 8 September 1982[1]
47.99 Jarmila Kratochvílová   Czechoslovakia Helsinki, Finland 10 August 1983[1]
47.60 Marita Koch   East Germany Canberra, Australia 6 October 1985[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 641. Archived from the original (pdf) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2009.