Summary: Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Florence Griffith Joyner, Marita Koch, Donovan Bailey, Ben Johnson, Maurice Green. You know these names. These are the names of the greatest sprinters ever. We know them for their outstanding career achievements in general and incredible individual races in particular. This article tells about ten sprint races which we will remember forever.
1. Atlanta 1996. Men's 100-meter Olympic final.
It was the most exciting 10 seconds in sports history. The fastest sprinter of that time Donovan Bailey was the last one who left the blocks at the track of overcrowded stadium in Atlanta. And nobody in the world had time to understand that he could simply lose the main race of his life, because during the next ten seconds everybody's eyes were chained to the Olympic track, where the fastest man ever was showing a magnificent blend of explosive power and awesome athleticism.
Donovan Bailey crossed the finish line first to win 100-metre final in 9.84 seconds. It was not just the new world record, this record was set in Olympic final by the man who had the worst start among all finalists. Step by step he passed other sprinters and by finish line he leaved them all behind. If you have never seen this race, than just go to video section at www.sprintic.com and do it now.
2. Atlanta 1996. Men's 200-meter Olympic final.
Michael Johnson not just broke the 200-meter world record, he shattered it, leaving other competitors many steps behind by finish line. Even today his time of 19.32 seconds seems fantastic. But it's not only about the time, it is also about the look on Michael's face when he saw it was 19.32. And every time people see the photo of that moment they can feel his passion.
3. Seoul 1988. Men's 100-meter Olympic final.
Canadian Ben Johnson recorded a new world best of 9.79 secs and he stormed away from his arch-rival Carl Lewis. However, three days later it was revealed that Johnson had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and was disqualified.
4. Seville 1999. Men's 400-meter world record.
In retaining the world title in a time of 43.18 seconds Michael Johnson redefined the parameters of the one-lap event.
With the staggered start, it took a while for his performance to become apparent. But, running in his trademark hand-made golden spikes, he sailed off the top bend, leaving his rivals metres adrift.
For once, he pushed himself all the way to the line, roared on by a capacity crowd of 50,000 who gasped in astonishment when the time came up on the electronic scoreboard.
5. Indianapolis 1988. Women's 100-meter world record.
Florence Griffith-Joyner stunned the world when - known as a 200 m runner - she ran a new 100 m World Record of 10.49 in the quarter-finals of the US Olympic Trials. This record stands unchallenged to this day, and it will surprise no one if it remains in the books for another 20 years.
6. Seoul 1988. Women's 200-meter Olympic final.
Florence Griffith-Joyner set world record for 200 meters. Nobody could beat her time of 21.34 since then.
7. Athens 1999. Maurice Greene breaks the world record in 100 meters.
In 1999 Maurice Greene set new 100-meter world record of 9.79 seconds, beating Donovan Bailey's standing world record of 9.84, and lowering it by the largest margin since the advent of electronic timing. Also he proved that man could run 100-meter dash under 9.80 seconds without taking drugs.
8. Canberra 1985. Women's 400-meter world record.
During her career Marita Koch collected a remarkable 16 world records in outdoor sprints, as well as 14 world records in indoor events. On Otober 6, 1985 she set the current 400-meter world record of 47.60 seconds. 20 years ago from now nobody among the best female athletes could even think about such result.
9. Athens 2005. Men's 100-meter world record.
Asafa Powell set a world record in the men's 100 meters, clocking 9.77 seconds at the Tsiklitiria Super Grand Prix meeting. So far it was the fastest time ever.
10. Barcelona 1992. Men's 4x100m relay world record.
Mike Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Dennis Mitchell, Carl Lewis. Exactly in this order the fastest American athletes were running their laps at Olympic stadium in Barcelona. The American team completed the race in 37.40. This record still stands today.