Press Release19 Nov 2021


Ratified: world records for Mboma and Burrell

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Christine Mboma and Sean Burrell (© Getty Images and Kirby Lee)

Men’s world U20 400m hurdles record
47.85 Sean Burrell (USA) Eugene 11 June 2021

Women’s world U20 200m record
21.81 Christine Mboma (NAM) Tokyo 3 August 2021


The world U20 records set by Sean Burrell and Christine Mboma earlier this year have been ratified.

Burrell clocked 47.85 on the third day of NCAA Championships action in Eugene, Oregon, on 11 June to improve the world U20 400m hurdles record of 48.02 which had been set by Danny Harris on 17 June 1984.

The 19-year-old LSU freshman, who only started racing the 400m hurdles this year, took a second off his previous best with his record-breaking performance at Hayward Field.

“Everybody kept telling me to use what I know, use my speed,” the former 200m and 400m specialist told ESPN. “I came into the hurdles this year because we already had two 400m guys and I would have just been the third. I had a background of the (sprint) hurdles a little bit, so I came into it with my speed and a little bit of technique, and the times just kept dropping.”

Mboma, meanwhile, achieved her world U20 200m record at the Tokyo Olympic Games, running 21.81 in the final to claim silver behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The 18-year-old also ran 22.11 in her heat and 21.97 in her semifinal, although those times will not be ratified as world U20 records due to no doping control having been carried out.

Her 21.81 in the Olympic final improves on the ratified world U20 record of 22.18 run by Allyson Felix in Athens on 25 August 2004, while the 22.17 clocked by Sha'Carri Richardson in Texas in 2019 remains pending ratification.

With her second place finish in the final, Mboma became the second Namibian athlete to ever claim a medal at the Olympics.

“This is my first Olympics,” she said. “I came here for experience, but I did better (than I expected). I am really happy with my performance. I am proud of myself.

"In the past, every time I ran against the best athletes, I felt nervous. But I don't feel nervous now.”

World Athletics