Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Michael Johnson – 7 Years of Perfection

Michael Johnson celebrates after his world record 19.32 seconds in the 200.  Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran a 19.19 in August

Michael Johnson celebrates after his world record 19.32 seconds in the 200. Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran a 19.19 in August

The first man to be ranked number one in the world at both 200m and 400m, Michael Johnson began dominating both events in 1990. Yet it was not until 1996 that he won an individual medal at the Olympics.

     Johnson was the overwhelming favorite to win the 200m at the 1992 Olympics, but he contracted food poisoning twelve days before the Opening Ceremony. He did not recover quickly and was eliminated in the semifinals. He did win a gold medal as a member of the U.S. 4x400m relay team.

    By the time of the 1996 Olympics, Johnson had won 54 straight finals at 400m and had not been beaten at that distance in seven years. He had no trouble in the Olympic final, winning by ten meters, the largest margin of victory in the event in 100 years. Three nights later, Johnson raced in the 200m final. At the U.S. Olympic trials, he had run a 19.66 to break the 17-year-old world record.

Undefeated in the 400 for 7 years
Undefeated in the 400 for 7 years

In Atlanta, he ran a phenomenal 19.32 to defeat Frank Fredericks of Namibia by four meters. In 1999, Johnson broke the 11-year-old 400m world record with a time of 43.18 seconds. He went to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 having won the 400m at the last four world championships. He won again in the Olympic final to become the first man to win the 400m twice. Finally, he anchored the U.S. 4x400m relay team to victory to bring his career gold medal total to five.

    Michael Johnson ranks as one of the best track & field athletes of all-time.

September 5, 2009 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , | Leave a comment