Christopher Morales Williams’ Unfortunate 400m World Record Confusion

By Kyle Merber

February 28, 2024

If you hate the distinction between “world best” and “world record,” then you are going to love the newest phrase meant to say “nobody has ever run this fast before.” Introducing… the “fastest indoor 400m ever!” That’s the undisputed title for what Georgia sophomore Christopher Morales Williams accomplished this past weekend at the SEC meet when he ran 44.49 for 400m.

Entering the meet, his outright personal best was 45.39, set two weeks earlier. Last year as a freshman he did not make the NCAA final, though he did win the Canadian championships. So while a big jump, this wasn’t completely out of left field. The 19-year-old is making swift improvement, and although it’s an exciting result and World Athletics is making graphics celebrating the feat, it may not be ratified. And that’s not the social media manager’s fault, who is presumably being notified of this time from the penthouse of their luxury complex in Monaco!

For the same reason that Michael Norman’s time of 44.52 from the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships is not the official world record, this one likely won’t count either. While an athlete would need to pass an anti-doping control test immediately after the race, the more limiting factor in this case is the starting blocks that are used must be World Athletics certified to capture reaction times. Unfortunately, the blocks used at SECs were just normal ass blocks, like the cavemen used.

Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.