On This Day

Sprinting in History

Events in Sport

  • 1928-07-31 In the first women’s Olympic track event, American sprinter Elizabeth Robinson equals her own world record 12.2s to win 100m gold medal in Amsterdam; Canadians Fanny Rosenfeld & Ethel Smith dead-heat (12.3s)

Sports History

1936-06-20 Jesse Owens of US sets 100 meter record at 10.2

  • 1936-08-03 American sprinter Jesse Owens wins the 100m (10.3 seconds) in front of Adolf Hitler in a famous race at the Berlin Olympics, first of 4 gold medals at the Games
  • 1948-07-31 American sprinter Harrison Dillard runs an Olympic record 10.3s to beat countryman Barney Ewell for the 100m gold medal at the London Olympics
  • 1953-08-23 Cyclist Arie Van Vliet becomes world champion sprinter
  • 1956-08-03 American sprinter Willie Williams sets 100m world record at 10.1 in Berlin, Germany
  • 1956-11-26 Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert wins the coveted 100m gold medal in 11.5 at the Melbourne Olympics; takes sprint double winning 200m final four days later
  • 1960-06-21 German sprinter Armin Hary runs world record 100m (10.0)
  • 1960-09-01 German sprinter Armin Hary wins the coveted 100m gold medal in 10.2 at the Rome Olympics; first non-American to win the event since 1928
  • 1960-09-02 American sprinter Wilma Rudolph wins the coveted 100m gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 11.0; beats Britain's Dorothy Hyman by 0.3; 1st of 3 gold medals for Rudolph
  • 1960-09-08 American sprinter Wilma Rudolph wins her third gold medal of the Rome Olympics anchoring the US 4 x 100m relay team; earlier won 100/200m double
  • 1964-10-15 American sprinter Bob Hayes equals world record 10.0s to beat Cuba's Enrique Figuerola by 0.2s and win the men's 100m gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics
  • 1964-10-16 In an incredibly close women's 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics American sprinter Wyomia Tyus runs 11.4s to beat teammate Edith McGuire by 0.2s; Ewa Kłobukowska of Poland takes bronze with the same time as McGuire
  • 1964-10-19 American sprinter Edith McGuire runs an Olympic record 23.0 to win the women's 200m gold medal in Tokyo; minor place medallists Irena Szewińska of Poland and Australian Marilyn Black both record 23.1
  • 1968-06-20 Jim Hines becomes 1st person to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds
  • 1968-10-14 American sprinter Jim Hines runs a world record 9.95s to beat Lennox Miller of Jamaica and Charles Greene of the US, and win the 100m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • 1968-10-15 American sprinter Wyomia Tyus wins her second consecutive Olympic 100m title with a world record 11.08s; beats teammate Barbara Ferrell by 0.08s for the gold medal at the Mexico City Games
  • 1968-10-18 Polish sprinter Irena Szewińska runs a world record 22.58s to beat Australian Raelene Boyle by 0.16s and win the 200m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • 1968-10-20 American sprinter Jim Hines anchors US men's 4 x 100m relay team to win his second gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics; with teammates Charles Greene, Mel Pender & Ronnie Ray Smith sets world record 38.24s
  • 1972-09-02 East German sprinter Renate Stecher sets world record 11.07 to beat Raelene Boyle of Australia for the women's 100m gold medal at the Munich Olympics
  • 1972-09-04 Soviet sprinter Valeriy Borzov runs 20.00 to win the men's 200m gold medal at the Munich Olympics; wraps up the 100/200m double at the Games
  • 1972-09-07 East German sprinter Renate Stecher runs a world record equalling 22.40 in the 200m final to repeat her 100m win over Australia's Raelene Boyle at the Munich Olympics
  • 1977-07-01 East German sprinter Marlies Göhr sets world record for 100m (10.88) in Dresden, Germany
  • 1983-06-08 East German sprinter Marlies Göhr sets world record for 100m (10.81) in Berlin, Germany

World Record

1988-09-24 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson breaks his own 100m world record with a time of 9.79 at the Seoul Olympics; disqualified 3 days later for use of drug stanozolol; Carl Lewis awarded gold and world record 9.92

  • 1988-09-25 American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner wins women's 100m in Olympic record 10.54; beats teammate Evelyn Ashford by 0.29; 1st leg of sprint double at Seoul Games
  • 1988-09-27 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is disqualified from the Seoul Olympics 100m after his urine sample found to contain steroid stanozolol; American Carl Lewis awarded gold medal and world record 9.92
  • 1988-09-29 American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner sets women's 200m world record 21.34; completes sprint double at the Seoul Olympics
  • 1988-10-01 Flamboyant American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner wins her third gold medal of the Seoul Olympics anchoring the victorious US 4 x 100m relay team
  • 1989-03-01 Charlie Francis, coach of disqualified sprinter Ben Johnson tells federal inquiry into Canada's greatest sports scandal Johnson knowingly used steroids since 1981; Johnson first across line Olympic 100m 1988
  • 1992-08-01 American sprinter Gail Devers wins an incredibly close blanket finish in the women's 100m at the Barcelona Olympics, with 5 athletes within 0.06 seconds of Devers (10.82)
  • 1996-08-01 French sprinter Marie-José Pérec wins the 200m final at the Atlanta Olympics to become only the 2nd athlete to win the 200-400m Olympic double (Valerie Brisco-Hooks 1984)
  • 2004-08-21 Belarusian sprinter Yulia Nestsiarenka runs 10.93 to beat American Lauryn Williams and win the 100m gold medal at the Athens Olympics

Olympic Gold

2004-08-22 American sprinter Justin Gatlin wins the coveted Olympic 100m gold medal in Athens in 9.85 ahead of Francis Obikwelu of Portugal & American Maurice Greene

  • 2005-06-14 Asafa Powell of Jamaica sets a new Men's 100 meters world record of 9.77 at the Athens Olympic Stadium
  • 2005-08-07 American sprinter Justin Gatlin blitzes field to win 100m in 9.88 at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland

Sports History

2007-10-05 After years of angry denials, triple gold medal winning American sprinter Marion Jones admits she used steroids 2000-01; pleads guilty to lying to federal investigators; announces retirement in tearful apology; medals returned to USOC

World Record

2008-08-16 Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt sets new world record of 9.69 seconds to win the coveted 100m gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics

  • 2008-08-21 After winning the event in Athens, Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown makes it consecutive 200m Olympic titles beating American Allyson Felix by 0.19 in Beijing
  • 2016-08-13 Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson wins blue ribband women's 100m gold in 10.71 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; American Tori Bowie second in 10.83 and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica 3rd 10.86
  • 2016-08-17 Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson wins 200m gold medal in 21.78; wraps up 100/200m Rio de Janeiro Olympics double
  • 2019-05-19 Sprinter Dutee Chand comes out as India's first openly gay professional athlete
  • 2021-11-09 105 year old Julia Hawkins sets world record as first woman and first American her age to run 100 meters Louisiana Senior Olympic Games [1]

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1880-09-14 Archie Hahn, American sprinter, born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin (d. 1955)
  • 1882-06-09 Robert Kerr, Canadian sprinter (1909 Olympics), born in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland (d. 1963)
  • 1894-11-23 Ture Persson, Swedish sprinter (Olympic silver 1912), born in Kristianstad, Sweden (d. 1956)
  • 1899-12-15 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold 100m, silver 4x100m 1924; depicted in film "Chariots of Fire"), born in Bedford, England (d. 1978)
  • 1900-08-10 Arthur Porritt, New Zealand 100m sprinter (Olympic bronze 1924)
  • 1908-09-29 Eddie Tolan, American sprinter (2 Golds 1932 Olympics), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 1967)
  • 1909-02-17 Jef Scherens, Belgian track cyclist (World C'ships gold sprint 1932-37, 47), born in Werchter, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1909-08-13 Wilhelmina Von Bremen, American 4X100 relay sprinter (Olympic gold 1932), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1976)
  • 1911-04-03 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), born in Wierzchownia, Poland (d. 1980)
  • 1911-08-23 Elizabeth "Betty" Robinson, US 100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1928), born in Riverdale, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • 1913-10-22 Annette Rogers, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1932, 36), born in Chelsea, Massachusetts (d. 2006)
  • 1923-07-08 Harrison Dillard, American sprinter (4 Olympic gold 1948, 52), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1924-11-16 Mel Patton, American athlete (Olympic gold 200m, 4x100m relay 1948; WR 100 yards 9.2s 1948), born in Los Angeles, California, (d. 2014)
  • 1927-04-29 Dorothy Manley, English 100m sprinter (Olympic silver 1948), born in London, England
  • 1927-12-29 Andy Stanfield, American sprinter & Olympic medalist, born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1985)
  • 1931-09-13 Marjorie Jackson, Australian sprinter (Olympic gold 1952) and 33rd Governor of South Australia, born in Coffs Harbour, Australia
  • 1932-05-03 Maria Itkina, Russian athlete (9 sprint world records, 60m-400m), born in Roslavl, Russia (d. 2020)
  • 1934-07-14 Marlene Matthews, Australian sprinter (Olympics 2 bronze-1956), born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1934-09-11 Norma Croker, Australian sprinter, born in Brisbane, Australia
  • 1935-10-15 Bobby Morrow, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay 1956), born in Brownsville, Texas (d. 2020)
  • 1937-08-10 Lucinda Williams, American sprinter (Olympic gold - 4×100 m relay, 1960), born in Savannah, Georgia
  • 1940-06-23 Wilma Rudolph, American athlete (3 Olympic gold 100/200/4x100m 1960), born in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee (d. 1994)
  • 1941-05-09 Dorothy Hyman, England, sprinter (Olympic silver 1960)
  • 1944-06-03 Edith McGuire, US 200m sprinter (Olympic gold 1964)

Tommie Smith

1944-06-06 Tommie Smith, American athlete and 200m sprinter who was the 1st to break the 20-second barrier (performed the black power salute while accepting his Olympic gold medal in 1968), born in Clarksville, Texas

John Carlos

1945-06-05 John Carlos, American sprinter who performed the black power salute while accepting his Olympic bronze medal in 1968, born in Harlem, New York

  • 1946-05-24 Irina Szewińska, Polish athlete, administrator (Olympic various sprint gold 1964, 68, 76), born in Leningrad, Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1946-10-01 Ewa Klobukowska, Polish athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1964), born in Warsaw, Poland
  • 1949-10-20 Valery Borzov, Ukrainian sprinter (Olympic gold 1972), born in Sambir, USSR
  • 1950-05-12 Renate Stecher-Meissner, German sprinter (3-time Olympic gold 1972, 76), born in Süptitz, Germany
  • 1950-10-13 Annegret Richter-Irrang, German sprinter (Olympic gold 1972), born in Dortmund, Germany
  • 1950-12-31 Inge Helten, German sprinter (Olympic bronze 1976), born in Sinzig, Germany
  • 1951-06-24 Raelene Boyle, Australian sprinter (Olympic silver 1972)
  • 1952-05-03 Allen Wells, Scottish athlete (Olympic 100m gold 1980), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1955-03-21 Barbel Wockel-Eckert, German DR, sprinter (Olympic-4 gold-1976, 80)
  • 1957-02-18 Marita Koch, German 400m sprinter (Olympic gold 1980), born in Wismar, Germany
  • 1957-04-15 Evelyn Ashford, American athlete (4 x Olympic sprint gold 1984, 88, 92), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • 1958-03-21 Marlies Göhr, East German sprinter (Olympic gold 100m relay 1976, 80; World Champion 100m 1983), born in Gera, Germany
  • 1958-04-04 Lam Jones, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m relay 1976) and NFL wide receiver (NY Jets 1980-86), born in Lawton, Oklahoma (d. 2019)
  • 1959-12-21 Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter (3 x Olympic gold 1988), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1998)
  • 1960-04-02 Linford Christie, British athlete (Olympic gold men's 100m 1992), born in Saint Andrew, Jamaica

Carl Lewis

1961-07-01 Carl Lewis, American sprinter and long jumper (9 Olympic gold 1984, 88, 92, 96), born in Birmingham, Alabama

  • 1964-12-16 Heike Drechsler, Gera German DR, sprinter (1988 world record)
  • 1967-07-12 Bruny Surin, Cap Haitien Haiti, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1967-08-04 Michael Lawrence Marsh, American sprinter (Olympic 200m gold 1992, silver 1996), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1968-08-31 Glenroy Gilbert, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996), born in Trinidad
  • 1968-09-04 Carlette Guidry-White, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1992, 1996; World C'ships 1995), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1969-01-20 Andre Cason, American sprinter, born in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 1969-04-10 Ekaterini Koffa, Greek sprinter, born in Karditsa, Greece
  • 1969-12-28 James Trapp, US sprinter and NFL player (Oakland Raiders), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • 1970-12-28 James Jett, US Olympic sprinter and NFL wide receiver (Oakland Raiders), born in Charles Town, West Virginia
  • 1971-08-14 Christopher R. Nelloms, American sprinter, born in Dayton, Ohio
  • 1972-05-02 Peter Ogilvie, Canadian 100m sprinter (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1972-12-12 Yeoryios Theodoridis, Greek sprinter, born in Athens
  • 1973-09-13 Christine Arron, French track and field sprinter, born in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, France
  • 1976-04-05 Kim Collins, Nevisian athlete (World C'ship gold men's 100m 2003), born in Saint Peter Basseterre Parish, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • 1976-06-02 Elly Hutton, Australian 100m sprinter (Olympics 1996)
  • 1978-01-14 Shawn Crawford, American sprinter, born in Van Wyck, South Carolina
  • 1978-08-05 Kim Gevaert, Belgian sprinter, born in Leuven, Belgium
  • 1979-06-15 Yulia Nestsiarenka, Belarusian sprinter (Olympic gold, 2004), born in Brest, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
  • 1979-07-07 Anastasios Gousis, Greek sprinter, born in Corfu, Greece
  • 1981-04-25 John McFall, British Paralympic sprinter, born in Frimley, Surrey, England
  • 1981-09-17 Francis Manioru, Solomon Islander sprinter

Justin Gatlin

1982-02-10 Justin Gatlin, American sprinter (Olympic gold 100m 2004), born in Brooklyn, New York City

  • 1982-08-09 Tyson Gay, American sprinter, born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1982-11-23 Asafa Powell, Jamaican sprinter, born in Spanish Town, Jamaica
  • 1986-04-10 Olivia Borlée, Belgian 200m sprinter, born in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium
  • 1986-06-27 LaShawn Merritt, American sprinter, born in Portsmouth, Virginia

Usain Bolt

1986-08-21 Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter (Olympic gold 100m/200m 2008, 12, 16), born in Sherwood Content, Jamaica

  • 1986-09-17 Dimitrios Regas, Greek sprinter
  • 1999-08-07 Sydney McLaughlin, American hurdler and sprinter, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • 2000-03-25 Sha'Carri Richardson, American sprinter (6th fastest woman ever 2021), born in Dallas, Texas

Deaths in Sport

  • 1955-01-21 Archie Hahn, American sprinter, dies at 74
  • 1956-11-14 Ture Persson, Swedish sprinter (Olympic silver 1912), dies at 63
  • 1967-01-31 Eddie Tolan, American sprinter the "Midnight Express" (1932 Olympics), dies at 58
  • 1976-07-23 Wilhelmina Von Bremen, American 4X100 relay sprinter (Olympic gold 1932), dies at 64
  • 1976-12-29 Ivo van Damme, Belgian 800/1500 m sprinter (Olympic silver 1976), dies at 22
  • 1980-01-01 Frank Wykoff, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), dies at 70
  • 1980-12-04 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), dies when shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • 1994-11-12 Wilma Rudolph, American athlete (3 Olympic gold 100/200/4x100m 1960), dies of brain cancer at 54
  • 1998-09-21 Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter (3 x Olympic gold 1988), dies of an epileptic seizure at 38
  • 2013-03-22 Pietro Mennea, Italian sprinter (200m world record), dies from cancer at 60
  • 2014-05-09 Mel Patton, American athlete (Olympic gold 200m, 4x100m relay 1948; WR 100 yards 9.2s 1948), dies at 89
  • 2018-06-29 Irina Szewińska, Polish athlete, administrator (Olympic various sprint gold 1964, 68, 76), dies of cancer at 72

Famous Runners