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Alena Brooks: New 800m Record (2:01.81)

Bernard Linley :: 28.04.2018

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Alena Brooks ran her 800m heat in 2:01.81 to set a new national record, almost half a second better than the 2:02.27 done in 2005 by Melissa de Leon.

Following an unsuccessful trial in 1928, the 800m for women was definitely added to the Olympic programme in 1960. And in TT the event was first contested five years later when Patricia Watts ran 2:22.8 in 1965.

In over half a century since then six athletes have reduced the record by over 20 seconds. Monica Tang Wing ran 2:22.1 in 1969, and Henrietta Nancis 2:20.8 in 1972, just two seconds faster than the initial time of Watts.

In the course of the seventies the record was broken several times. Firstly, Marva Edwards clocked 2:14.6 in 1973 and then 2:13.6 in 1974. Then Nancis bettered the record three more times before leaving it standing at 2:06.9 in 1979.

This record lasted for a decade until Adina Valdez did 2:03.13 in 1989. This time in turn remained on the books for 16 years up to 2005 when Melissa de Leon established the record at 2:02.27, which Alena Brooks brought down to 2:01.81 in early 2018.

While it is true that recent 800m records have had long lives (13-16-10 years) we hope that Brooks, other two lap runners and their coaches are aiming to break the two minute barrier, and consequently the new record will not last as long as its recent predecessors.

 

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