Ultimate Event Rankings

400m Ultimate Rankings

MJ. Sanya. Wayde. Cathy.

Some of the greatest 400m runners throughout history are the rarest of track and field athletes- stars who shined bright enough to get the first name treatment typically reserved for the biggest stars in all of sports. 

That’s because the legends of the quarter-mile have created some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history- Wayde van Niekerk’s world record in Rio, Cathy Freeman’s victory in front of her home crowd in Sydney, Michael Johnson’s gold spikes in Atlanta-- that have transcended track and field itself. Their performances stand as some of top sporting moments ever.

So, how do these track heavyweights in the men’s and women’s 400m compare to each other? We sought to find out with our second edition of the Ultimate Rankings, a points-based system that factors in three elements of an athlete’s résumé to determine greatness in track and field:

- Medals

- PR ranking all-time (scored through top 20 all-time)

- Total number of top 20 all-time performances

Using this formula, the goal was to form a baseline where men and women could be compared on an equal playing field. The result was the definitive top 20 400m athletes in world history.

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