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ironside
800m only appears weak in US since USA has best 400m runners in the world
I will rephrase what I think you are asking: Why don't more sub-45.50 400m men move up to 800m? Why don't more sub-50.50 400m women move up to 800m?

1) 45.50 400m guys at NCAA D1 & D2 and 50.50 400m gals all most certainly get full athletic grants. Why mess with a good thing?

2) In US, top six at US Olympic Trials 400m F makes USA Olympic Team.

3) Outdoor 400m athletes have a lane the entire race. Each 400m athlete is entirely in control of their fate. If a male athlete wants to race the first 200m in exactly 21.75, no other runners prevent that from occurring. If a female 400m runner wants to race her first 200m of 400m race in 23.75, no other athlete is stopping her.

4) 800m athletes have to decide: Do I want to race the shortest distance possible and race 2 1/2 seconds slower than one's 400m PB for the first 400m? Do I want to race close to an even split race which means one will have to race in lane two or lane three the final 450m of an 800m race?

5) Since the best 400m runners in US in high school and college often train with 100m & 200m athletes, weight training for many 400m runners tends to often bump 400m athletes up to a height to weight ratio which is disadvantageous for 800m.

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