It is a similar story on the roads, where World Athletics' 2020 shoe design rules must be one of the greatest examples of closing the stable door after the horse has not only bolted but disappeared over the hills. Records continue to tumble at all levels and this year has seen almost two minutes wiped off the women's half-marathon world record, in three massive bites.
Coe says it is pointless now trying to place these seemingly stupendous performances in historical context. In the case of the two 400m hurdles races, for example, he is surely right that fans should sit back and just appreciate the stunning head-to-head showdowns on the biggest stage of all.
However, perhaps the most uplifting event of the athletics year did not feature a record, or an outright winner, as Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi found themselves locked together after three fails at 2.39 metres in the Olympic high jump final.
Barshim asked an official: “Can we have two golds” and when he said “yes”, and both men erupted in joy, it was truly one of the great Olympic moments.