In case you were wondering, the actual world record in 2000 was 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, according to Running Times magazine.
How fast will man run the mile in the year 2000?
The answer, according to Oxford University physiologist B.B. Lloyd, is three minutes, 41 seconds - more than 12 seconds faster than French athlete Michel Jazy's current world mark of 03.53.6.
Lloyd, addressing the annual convention of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, said the trends in record breaking of the past 50 years were likely to continue for the next 50.
Records keep getting broken, he said, because athletes keep getting "greater hearted" - their muscles get more oxygen from the blood pumped to them by the heart.
Thus, he thought the reason for improvement lay not so much in individual skill as in more intensive selection and training, particularly during the final stages of growth.
These were his forecasts for other world marks at the end of the century.
100 yards: 8.6 seconds, now 9.1.
440 yards: 42.4 seconds, now 44.9.
10,000 meters: 26:08.4, now 27:39.4
Marathon: two hours, two minutes, now two hours, 12 minutes. [paleo-future editor's note: Khalid Khannouchi of Morocco held the record in the year 2000 with two hours, five minutes and forty-two seconds.]
Lloyd said the ability of a runner to use oxygen had increased about eight per cent since 1930.
'There seems no reason why a similar rate of increase should not be seen for the next 50 years, particularly as the maximum capacity to use oxygen in cross country skiers has already been shown as six per cent larger than that of record breaking miler John Landy.
And he forecast that women may overtake men in sprint events. Women, he said, can use their original stores of energy faster than men.
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