First under 4:20: 4:19.0 Marise Chamberlain NZL 1962
First under 4:10: 4:09.6 Karin Burneleit GDR 1971
First under 4:05: 4:01.4 Lyudmila Bragina URS 1972
First under 4:00: 3:56.0 Tatyana Kazankina URS 1976
Click here for current World record
Most durable world record: Qu Yunxia CHN 3:50.46 (14 years)
Most times under 3:58:
Tatyana Kazankina, Maricica Puica ROM, Qu Yunxia & Süreyya Ayhan TUR 4
Most Olympic titles: 2 Tatyana Kazankina 1976/80
Most World titles: 2 Hassiba Boulmerka ALG 1991/1995; 2 Tatyana Tomashova RUS 2003/2005
Youngest Olympic/World champion:Liu Dong CHN 1993 (19)
Oldest: Kelly Holmes GBR 2004 (34)
Three all time greats
Lyudmila Bragina (URS): During the course of one season (1972) she brought the world record of 4:09.6 down to 4:01.4, clocking that time when winning the inaugural Olympic title.
Tatyana Kazankina (URS): The record stayed at 4:01.4 until she ran an astonishing 3:56.0 in 1976, the year she won the Olympic 800 & 1500m; she won the 1500 again in 1980 and cut the record to 3:55.0 and 3:52.47.
Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG): With one Olympic title (1992) and two world championships (1991 & 1995) to her name, the Algerian is the most successful female 1500m racer ever at that level. Her medal at the 1991 World Championships was the first gold ever for a woman from Algeria.