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Athletics legend Jim Hines has died
06/05/2023, 2:55 p.m
Jim Hines becomes the first person to time the 100m in under 10 seconds. The American ended his successful track and field career early, but the step into a second career failed. The double Olympic champion died at the age of 76.
The athletics world mourns the loss of sprinter Jim Hines: the American, who was the first athlete to officially run the 100 meters in under ten seconds, died last Saturday at the age of 76. This was announced by the world association World Athletics (WA).
Hines broke the 10-second barrier for the first time on June 20, 1968 at the US Trials in Sacramento. Since two other athletes, Ronnie Ray Smith and Charles Greene, managed the same feat within a few minutes, the evening in California went down in athletics history as the “Night of Speed”. All three were hand-timed in 9.9 seconds.
Second career in the NFL
Four months later, the then 22-year-old Hines sprinted over 100 meters in Mexico City to Olympic victory – this time electronically timed 9.95 seconds. It was the first world record in the 100 meters to be confirmed electronically. In Mexico, Hines made himself a double Olympic champion by winning the relay – in a world record time. Just four days after his triumph, the track and field record holder signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins football team in the NFL.
His world record clearly outlasted his NFL career: while Hines, who was given the unflattering nickname “Ooops” due to his lack of football skills, only played professional football for the Dolphins and later the Kansas City Chiefs until 1970, his record was 15 years long stock.
It wasn’t until 1983 that someone was faster: his compatriot Calvin Smith by two hundredths of a second. The current world record is held by Usain Bolt, who ran 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. The first to sprint the 100 meters in hand-timed 10.0 seconds was Armin Hary in June 1960. Twelve other runners, including Hines and Greene, later equaled this world record.