Germany’s Roland Gröger claims M50 world record for 400 meters

Germany’s Roland Gröger on Sunday posted a video to his YouTube channel claiming to show him running 400 meters in 51.02 at age 52 — beating the listed M50 world record of 51.39 by American Fred Sowerby in 1999. Roland won the 400 at Lyon worlds (and took silver in 200 and bronze in the 100), so his claim is plausible. A German report said he ran 51.42 at the Charlottenburg Mittsommernachts Sports Festival on June 24 in Berlin. That day, he almost caught the the 13-year-old M50 Eurovets record of 51.41 by Britain’s Stephen Peters. I’ll try to learn more about the sensational 51.02.

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August 28, 2016

16 Responses

  1. Stevan Dixon - August 28, 2016

    51.03 Looks legit unless he had an incredible slow reaction time.

  2. Matt B. - August 28, 2016

    Sensational indeed!

  3. Terry Parks - August 28, 2016

    He already had the indoor record and was breathing on the door for the outdoor record. Very fast indeed. He probably will go 50 point next.

    I am glad that I can run the 800 and high jump because the 400 is becoming way fast.

  4. tb - August 28, 2016

    Video is not from the Charlottenburg (51.42) meet (nor from the next week when he also got 51.42). Charlottenburg had six runners, and the guy he mentions who got 2nd wasn’t one of them.

  5. Francois Boda - August 28, 2016

    I do believe he broke the record as he is an incredible athlete and has already ran 51 plus multiple times this season. Congrats to him.

  6. tb - August 28, 2016

    …and it happened today (8/28), according to his coach who posted the video.

  7. Daniele Biffi - August 29, 2016

    Hallo Kan,

    many many thank´s for yourr article! Roland has run twice 51″42 in Juni:

    Ken, do you remember me, I am th second guy of 🙂 And I am the man in green in the Video.

    Greatings from Berlin!
    Daniele Biffi

  8. David E. Ortman (M63), Seattle, WA - August 29, 2016

    Curious: IAAF Rule 160: “the inside of the track shall be bordered by a kerb of suitable material that should be coloured white, with a height of 50mm to 65mm and a width of 50mm to 250mm. the kerb on the two straights may be omitted and a white line 50mm wide substituted.”

    Perhaps someone at the meet can verify whether a curb/kerb was in place, as it is not apparent on the curves at :27 and :59 of the video.

  9. Jonas Plass - August 29, 2016

    @Mr. Ortman: are you suggesting that the WR is invalid because the curb is missing on the inside of lane 1 (R.G. ran on lane 3)? Why don’t you turn to IAAF with your inquiry?

  10. Matt B. - August 29, 2016

    Even for a race in lanes like this 400 where you don’t cut in? He ran in lane 3. He was hugging that line, but I don’t see any apparent lane violations on the curve.

  11. Joss L. - August 29, 2016

    There are several violations line for the runner who finished 2nd in lane 4 at 1:00 but not for Roland

  12. David E. Ortman (M63), Seattle, WA - August 29, 2016

    Rule 160 is the IAAF/WMA standard for a sanctioned track. Doesn’t matter if you don’t run out of your lane. The US has a sanctioned meet process where track officials certify that their tracks meet USATF standards. Don’t know how this is done in Europe. I have no idea if the “Roland” track (and an absolutely outstanding time, by the way!) was sanctioned. I only asked if anyone at the meet could verify that the track had curbs on the curves.

  13. Michael D Walker - August 29, 2016

    It does not look like there was a curb which would be a shame as it was a great run. Good call on lane 4.

  14. tb - August 29, 2016

    Lane 4 is 25 years old, by the way.

    Pretty lame if a curb matters at all in this race.

  15. Ken Stone - August 29, 2016

    I’ve written to Roland for more details, but Alfred Hermes in Germany shares this info on Roland’s meet:

    In Berlin Spandau on 08/28/2016 a pentathlon took place. As an additional event on demand 400m and 200m competitions were announced. In this competition Roland Gröger ran (52 years) world record in a field with younger runners. There were perfect conditions, a temperature about 30 ° Celsius and no wind. The results are not yet published.

    Previous German M50 record-holder Guido Müller shared his praise:

  16. Daniele Biffi - August 30, 2016

    We wanted this Rekord this day and Roland placed it.

    Roland is an amazing Athlet, an Amazing Person and it is a plasure to train him and to work with him.

    We have warked hard for it, we wanted it, we have plant it, he got it done.

    Daniele Biffi

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