Jim Hines, first man to officially run 100m under 10 seconds, no more

By, New Delhi
Jun 05, 2023 02:49 PM IST

The US sprint great, the 1968 Mexico Olympics 100m champion, is regarded among the pioneers in world athletics for his feat

Jim Hines, the legendary US sprinter and the first man to officially break 10-seconds in 100 metres, died on Saturday, World Athletics announced on its website. He was 76. Hines achieved the feat at the 1968 US Championships, clocking 9.9 seconds for the 100m (electronically timed 10.03, though electronic timing was made mandatory for ratification only in 1977).

Legendary US sprinter Jim Hines(Twitter/SportIconObit)
Legendary US sprinter Jim Hines(Twitter/SportIconObit)

He then won the 100m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics clocking 9.9 secs (9.95 electronic), making him the first man to officially dip under 10 secs with electronic timing.

Born in Dumas, Arkansas in 1946 and raised in Oakland, California, baseball was his first love, but athletics coach Jim Coleman encouraged him to switch to track after spotting his running ability, an obituary in worldathletics.org, website of the athletics world body, said.

At 17, he was already ranked among the top 20 in the world over 100 yards. Hines first established himself in the 200m, winning the 1966 US national title, before achieving his first national 100 yards victory. He also set his first ratified world record in 1967, clocking 9.1 secs for 100m yards and 10.0 secs for 100m.

Having qualified for the Mexico Games, where the rarified atmosphere due to the altitude helped the sprinters and jumpers, he set a world record which stood for 15 years until it was bettered by fellow US sprinter Calvin Smith.

Smith clocked 9.93 secs in July 1983, at the altitude of Colorado Springs in the US Olympic Festival meet. Jamaican Usain Bolt holds the current 100m world record -- 9.58 secs.

Hines also had a share of the 4x100m relay world record at the Mexico Olympics, anchoring the US team to gold in 38.24 seconds.

However, he retired from athletics soon after at the age of 22 and went on to play in the NFL for Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Athletics was restricted to amateurs until early 1980s.

After his playing days, he worked with under-privileged youth in Houston.


    N Ananthanarayanan has spent almost three decades with news agencies and newspapers, reporting domestic and international sport. He has a passion for writing on cricket and athletics.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals