Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

9.79s: 21 years ago

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 9.79s: 21 years ago

    On September 24th, 1988, Ben Johnson set his second 100m world record in as many years at the Olympics in Seoul. I remember watching it live at 0:30 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Sports), after coming home from a high school dance.

    The call from the late CBC sportscaster Don Wittman was as follows (committed to my memory): "They're away cleanly -- Ben Johnson flying out of the blocks! Can Carl Lewis make up the difference? And it's Ben Johnson in the lead -- can he hang on?! YES, HE DOES IT! A TIME OF 9.79, A WORLD RECORD! Ben Johnson, what a magnificent performance!"



    100m final (wind: +1.1 m/s)
    1. Ben Johnson CAN 9.79 WR
    2. Carl Lewis USA 9.92 AR
    3. Linford Christie GBR 9.97 ER
    4. Calvin Smith USA 9.99
    5. Dennis Mitchell USA 10.04
    6. Robson da Silva BRA 10.11
    7. Desai Williams CAN 10.11
    8. Ray Stewart JAM 12.26

    Three days later, it all came crashing down. Canada responded with the largest-ever inquiry into the use of drugs in athletics (the Dubin Inquiry).

    Following the removal of Johnson's performance, the WR was reset to 9.92s by Lewis in the same race. Subsequent lowering of the WR included:

    Leroy Burrell 9.90s (1.9), New York City (1991)
    Carl Lewis 9.86s (1.2), Tokyo (1991)
    Leroy Burrell 9.85s (1.2), Lausanne (1994)
    Donovan Bailey 9.84s (0.7), Atlanta (1996)

    It took 11 years for the WR to return to 9.79s (0.1m/s, Maurice Greene, Athens, 1999).

  • #2
    I remember that race so well. I was glued to the TV while my dumb cousins were goofing off in the living room making noise, not understanding the gravity of what was happening. And then I got the SI with that famous cover. Busted!

    So long ago already.

    I'll never forget the line from that SI story...."Note the implausible deltoid."
    You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scottmitchell74
      And then I got the SI was that famous cover. Busted!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by scottmitchell74
        I'll never forget the line from that SI story...."Note the implausible deltoid."
        There is no such line: The Loser

        Comment


        • #5
          I've never forgotten that article. You know how they have little 1 or 2 sentence lines under/next to pictures sometimes in articles? It was one of those. It showed Ben sprinting and his near arm was pumping and his deltoid was exploding. That's where the line was. I'm 100% sure.

          http://www.snelkracht.nl/images/johnson-fast.jpg

          It was this picture or one very near this same portion of the race.
          You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

          Comment


          • #6
            Fortunately, the SI Vault allows us to view the entire issue. Just click the link in my previous post, then click "VIEW THIS ISSUE". The aforementioned line is not in the photo captions, either. Here are all of the captions:
            • Pages 32-33: On the track, Johnson burst ahead; in the lab, he met defeat.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Pages 34-35: At the finish Johnson gestured in triumph—strictly, it seemed, for the benefit of Lewis (1102)—then took a halfhearted victory trot.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Page 34: Archrivals Lewis (left) and Johnson showed each other grudging respect on the victory stand.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Pages 36-37: Lewis became the only long jumper ever to win the gold medal in consecutive Olympic Games.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Page 38: Johnson watched the track events on Sunday with his mother, Gloria (right), and a sister, Jean.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Page 38: Astaphan believed that Bulgarians like Grablev knew the secrets of undetected steroid use.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            • Page 39: Johnson's chaotic departure from Seoul's airport drew a mob of reporters and cameras.[/*:m:10tkatl7]
            The photo to which you provide a link is the one on Pages 32-33. For what it's worth, I prefer the actual caption.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JRM
              Originally posted by scottmitchell74
              And then I got the SI was that famous cover. Busted!
              Take out all the text, and look at his form!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rainy.here
                Take out all the text, and look at his form!
                Oh, I agree with you. As Geoff Gowan (iconic CBC Sports persona, for those who don't know) called it: "Sprinting personified!"

                Regardless of history's verdict on Ben Johnson -- his technique and form were 100% perfection.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scottmitchell74
                  I remember that race so well. I was glued to the TV while my dumb cousins were goofing off in the living room making noise, not understanding the gravity of what was happening."
                  Classic!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of the most infamous moments in the history of the Sport.
                    Ben was bent on winning and beating Carl at any cost.
                    on the road

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Earlier that summer, Ben won the Canadian Championships in a slightly-windy 9.90w. In the post race interview, he was asked about the upcoming confrontation with Lewis. His reply was classically hilarious (even repeated verbatim by Don Whittman afterward). In his heavy Jamaican accent and amid his stutter, he brushed off the question with a casual reply: "When da gun go off, da race be over."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Speedfirst
                        One of the most infamous moments in the history of the Sport.
                        Ben was bent on winning and beating Carl at any cost.
                        That's because the race in Zürich (Lewis 9.93, C. Smith 9.97, Johnson 10.00) scared the $#!+ out of both he and his coach Charlie Francis. Carl had his number, and with a month to go before the Olympic 100, there was real danger that Ben would not have won even the silver! So, in their haste to get him back up to speed (9.8x), they got sloppy with whatever dirt he was rolling in before, and got nailed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, wasnt Johnson coming off an early season Hamstring injury?

                          That Zurich race he faded soooo badly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            scottmitchell74 wrote:
                            I'll never forget the line from that SI story...."Note the implausible deltoid."

                            There is no such line: The Loser
                            I stand corrected. 100% sure doesn't mean what it used to. However, I'm not crazy - just wrong.


                            Dec. 26, 1988 SI Pictures 88 - Page 88-89

                            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/ ... /index.htm


                            21 years is a long time, so I'll take a mulligan on the details.
                            You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You found it!

                              Of course, I'm in no position to grant mulligans, but if I were, you would certainly have one.

                              Impressive recall, indeed.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X