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Sprinters Jackson, Thompson-Herah, others catching up to Flo-Jo's hallowed world records

For generations of sprinters in the women's 100 metres, 10.49 seconds is the world record they've been chasing since 1988.

For Al Joyner, it's a time he sees everywhere he looks. Like the other day when he was contemplating putting a pair of his late wife Florence Griffith Joyner's spikes up for auction and happened to glance at the clock.

It read 10:49.

"I think at those times she's saying, 'Hello, how are you doing? I'm still here,"' Joyner said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

The aura and records of Griffith Joyner hover over track to this day. Known for her long and colourful nails, flashy outfits and her cool "Flo-Jo" nickname, she had a magical run in 1988 that re-wrote the record book. She set the 100 mark of 10.49 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and the 200 mark of 21.34 on her way to a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics.

It had seemed as if the records might never be touched. But Flo-Jo's marks appear to be within reach with the Paris Games this summer. There's a cast of sprinters springing from the blocks who don't see an intimidating time -- but, rather, a record that's meant to be broken.

"I mean, [a few] years ago, I would have said, 'No, that's never happening,"' American Gabby Thomas said last season of the 200 record. "With the technology and the way our competitors are running? Absolutely. ... I might just be crazy enough to believe that it's something that could happen in the next few years."

Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson nearly eclipsed Flo-Jo's 200 mark at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, last summer, finishing in 21.41, the second-fastest ever.

WATCH | Jackson runs season-best 22.69 seconds over 200m in Stockholm:

Joyner's take? Go for it. Because he'd like to see it.

Read more on cbc.ca