[Worldkings] Top 100 pioneers in all fields (P. 92) Jim Hines (USA): The first athlete to run 100 meters under 10 seconds


(Worldkings.org) Jim Hines, an American sprinter, was the first person to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters in 1968.

James Ray Hines (September 10, 1946 – June 3, 2023) was an American track and field athlete and National Football League (NFL) player, who held the 100-meter world record for 15 years. In 1968, he became the first man to officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters, and won individual and relay gold at the Mexico City Olympics.


Born in Dumas, Arkansas, Hines was raised in Oakland, California, and graduated from McClymonds High School in 1964. He was a baseball player in his younger years until he was spotted by track coach Jim Coleman as a running talent, and Hines became a sprinter.

At the 1968 U.S. national championships in Sacramento, California, Hines became the first man to break the ten second barrier in the 100-metre race for setting 9.9 (manual timing). That evening of June 20, 1968, at Hughes Stadium has been dubbed by track and field historians as the "Night of Speed".

Hines then broke his own record shortly after while winning gold at the 1968 Olympics, where an electronic timer in Mexico City recorded him at 9.95. His record held for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith ran a time of 9.93 in 1983.


In addition to winning the 100m at the Mexico Olympics, he was also part of the US 4x100m relay team which won a gold. He ended his sprinting career shortly after the Olympics and joined the NFL. He spent three years in the league, playing for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hines was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, class of 1994. Hines was also inducted into the Texas Track and Field coaches Hall of Fame, class of 2016. Hines died in Hayward, California, on June 3, 2023, at the age of 76.


According to BBC & Wikiepdia

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