The IAAF, always conscious of doing the right thing, tweeted greetings to Czech mid-distance runner Jarmila Kratochvilova on the occasion of her 62nd birthday. The photo they used, above, is from 1983, commemorating another remarkable anniversary: Kratochvilova's world record in the 800 meters, 1:53.28, set in 1983, is the longest standing world record in track & field. Wowsa! Boggles the mind, eh?
The IAAF mentions her 400 meter world record, 47.99 seconds—that amazing mark, also set in 1983, is now number two on the world all-time list behind that of that great product of East Germany, Marita Koch.
Kratochvilova's IAAF profile shows that, while brilliant, her career was short. She first posted marks in 1981, 1983 being the banner year when she set both 400 and 800 meter world records, with very little documented in 1984, which is odd since it was an Olympic year. The last event in her profile is a 1:57.81 800 meters, run in 1987.
The only threat to Kratochvilova's world record in recent times was run by Kenyan Pamela Jelimo, who ran a slew of world list-making times in 2008, including a gold medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but struggled after that. In 2012, Jelimo, then-marathon world record holder Patrick Makau and Matthew Kisorio came under scrutiny for doping by German journalist Hajo Seppelt, the same guy who broke the recent story of endemic Russian doping and the IAAF's possible collusion.
The IAAF reports that Kratochvilova remains active in Czech athletics and has been part of that country's national team management since her retirement from the sport. They don't forget people, the IAAF.
[photo credit: Twitter]