Harder, better, faster, stronger: why we must protect female sports

FondOfBeetles

In 1988, at the US Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Florence Griffith Joyner romped home in the female 100m quarterfinals to set a new world record of 10.49 seconds (1). This was an astonishing moment in female sports, and not just because of her (in)famous six inch long fingernails. In an event where records usually progress by mere 100ths of a second, she smashed the existing female world record time by nearly three 10ths (the previous holder was Evelyn Ashford, running 10.76s). The world went ‘Flo Jo’ crazy as they celebrated the ‘Fastest Woman Ever’, an accolade she still holds today, some 30 years on from the event and 20 years after her death.

Flo Jo

10.49s. That 10.49 seconds stands as one of the oldest world records in athletics (2). The closest a female has ever got to it is Carmelita Jeter, with 10.64s in 2009. Marion Jones is recorded as the…

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