Sprinting in History

Events in Sport

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Track and Field Athlete Jesse Owens
Track and Field Athlete
Jesse Owens
  • 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
  • 1960-09-01 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 team mate 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 team mate 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 team mates 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

Sports record brokenWorld 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

Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper Carl Lewis
Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper
Carl Lewis
  • 1988-09-25 American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner wins women's 100m in Olympic record 10.54; beats team mate 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
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat Marion Jones
Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat
Marion Jones

Sports record brokenWorld 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

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt
  • 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

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)
  • 1899-12-15 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold & silver 1924), born in Bedford, England (d. 1978)
  • 1900-08-10 Arthur Porritt, New Zealand 100m sprinter (Olympic bronze 1924)
  • 1909-02-07 Joseph "Poeske" Scherens, Flem cyclist (champ sprinter 1932-37) [OS]
  • 1909-02-17 Joseph "Poeske" Scherens, Belgian cyclist (champ sprinter 1932-37)[NS]
  • 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, US sprinter (Olympic gold 1932, 36)
  • 1923-07-08 Harrison Dillard, American sprinter (4 Olympic gold 1948, 52), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1924-11-16 Mel Patton, American sprinter & Olympic champion, born in Los Angeles, California, (d. 2014)
  • 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
  • 1932-02-03 Maria Itkina, USSR, sprinter (9 world records)
  • 1934-02-14 Marlene Matthews, Australia, sprinter (Olympic 2 bronze-1956)
  • 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, US sprinter (Olympic gold 1960)
  • 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)
  • 1944-03-15 Chi Cheng, Taiwan, sprinter/80m hurdler (Olympic bronze 1968)
  • 1944-06-03 Edith McGuire, US 200m sprinter (Olympic gold 1964)
  • 1944-06-05 Tommie Smith, US sprinter (Olympic gold 1968) [or Jan 5]
  • 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
  • 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, Australia, 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

Person of interestCarl Lewis

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

Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper Carl Lewis
Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper
Carl Lewis
  • 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, Trinidad, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1968-09-04 Carlette Guidry-White, American sprinter, born in Houston, Texas
  • 1968-09-09 Jon Drummond, American former sprinter, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 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
  • 1970-09-01 Jodi Lambert, Australian 100m/200m sprinter (Olympics 1996)
  • 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 sprinter
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1982-02-10 Justin Gatlin, American sprinter (Olympic gold 100m 2004), born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • 1982-08-09 Tyson Gay, American sprinter
  • 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

Person of interestUsain Bolt

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

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt

Deaths in Sport

  • 1955-01-21 Archie Hahn, American sprinter, dies at 74
  • 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 sprinter, double Olympic champion, dies at 89
  • 2018-06-29 Irina Szewińska, Polish athlete, administrator (Olympic various sprint gold 1964, 68, 76), dies of cancer at 72