Who is Marian Woronin? White Men Can’t Sprint?

In September, I wrote a highly controversial article for my good friends at The Science of Sport. It was called African Dominance in Sprinting? Some Interesting stats…

Here is a quick snippet:

If the list is expanded to “non-Black” athletes and includes First Nation, Aboriginal or Asian athletes, here is the top 7 list from the top 1200 performances from www.alltime-athletics. And, you can argue 2 of them were set in altitude.

I still believe passion, dedication, a bit of luck, a lot of genetics, decent funding, and good coaching are the key elements to success.

  • 9.93 (+1.8) Patrick Johnson (AUS) 05.05.2003
  • 10.00 (+2.0) Marian Woronin (POL) 09.06.1984
  • 10.00 (+1.9) Koji Ito (JPN) 13.12.1998
  • 10.03A (0.0) Nicolas Macrozonaris (CAN) 03.05.2003
  • 10.03 (-0.1) Matthew Shirvington (AUS) 17.09.1998
  • 10.03 (+1.8) Shingo Suetsugu (JPN) 05.05.2003
  • 10.06A (+2.0) Johan Rossouw (RSA) 23.04.1988

So who is Marian Woronin? I’ve searched a lot of archives, and all I could find was this quarter-final race. Technically, he pops up after 5 strides, and he eases the last 20 meters to coast in a 10.28 seconds. But the man is smooth, very similar to Valeri Borzov!

UPDATE: Here is another rare video of Marian Woronin.

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee

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  • I must ask a question: Why Mr. Jimmy Lee are you so intent to prove that one race is superior to another at something-in this case-sprinting? As a sprinter of non-African descent (half white/half yellow), I find your article offensive and discouraging. Perhaps more diversity in track would be a good thing.

    I’m sure articles about white dominance in the high jump, field events, 400 m sprint or the decathlon won’t be written from your pen any time soon. Maybe I should write an article on European versus African IQ differences and how that translates to standard of living? Perhaps comparing both Japanese and European space programs with those of African or Caribbean countries. Your thoughts?

  • This is a very interesting topiq. There are of course racial differences that effect results in sprintint between west africans and rest. But i also believe there are differences between different white racial gruops and between different asian(mongoloid) groups.
    I think it not is a coincidence that the fastest man was of east european ( slavic) descent. Men from e.g Poland, croatia, serbia have often a very high genetic/natural muscle mass compared to other from the “white racial gruop”(italians, swedes, germans, britts, greeks and so on), look on e.g “the dominator” Mariusz Pudzianowski, many other poles in “strongmen”, world strongest women is polish.. And very many are of “slavic descent” in these power sports. And i do not think it has a mainly traditional explanation.
    I myself am of polish sprinter living in an germanic country, who have experienced difference between individs of polish and other slavic( jugoslavs) compared to germanic induviduals. In fact every single one that i know who is from polish descent(7-8 persons) here in this germanic country has a better ‘natural sprinting speed’, often the fastest induviduals in school class. I talked to a friend down in poland, and we discussed this matter. We compared times of results in the ‘school sport activities’-subject, on 100 meters. between our schools. In the polish class almost every boy ran under 13 seconds. In the germanic class only a few where under, mainly times over 14 s.
    I talked with a proffessional polish 400 m coach about this matter, he thought my ideas were very posible. He thought that east european/jugoslavic people have better rythm, coordination, and higher muscle mass.. My own experience is that poles have very much more interest for music, and are often playing instruments and have a good sense for rythm and dancing( at least they like dancing) compared to other white and asian gruops. (Music talent is genetic)
    Except from Woronin, the fastest white sprinter(pole).One of the fastest whites on the 200( if not the fastest) is also a Pole, MarcinUrbas (19,98). And Dariusz Kuc has also done 10,15 on 100 ( he is born 1986, and did it 2 years ago), i think he have the chance of going under 100 even though he stopped developing the latest year. And look, the poles where the only whites in the 4×400 osaka medalist.they actually bet the jamaicans taking a bronze medal..
    And isn’t Wariner looking very slavic?(even though i heard something about he having indian blood).
    And i Do NOT think this all is a coincindence, the observations i have made are surely supporting this..
    Another gruop that show greater speed in the popoluation compared to the germanic that live here, are immigrants from Thailand.
    It’s a shame nobody has made researches on this..

    • Hello

      Slavic peoples better sprinters than Germanic ? What about all the East German sprinters during their heyday ? From what i understand the Germans make excellent bodybuilders and wrestlers (look at the USA Midwest). Then again Poland is on Germany’s border and people “mix”.

  • Another intersting this is that i have a book about physiological antroplogy. At the pages about poles is says that Poles have a noticly very develeloped thigh muscles, which i have also personally observed.

  • Sorry, my english is not perfect. The book says; highly developed calf muscles( on poles).
    Even though i honestly never have seen a white youngster near my age with such big quadriceps muscles that i have on my legs..

  • @ Mail for questions – Thanks for some interesting research. I will follow up on your insight.

    This brings up another topic for a future post – The Worlds Greatest Female Sprinter is Poland’s Irena Szewinska (though you may argue she was Russian born). I’ll save that for a future post.

  • Yes, i do know about Szewinska, but do not know so much about her results and medals.
    Did she put any world records? What is her P.B ?
    Is she also the perhaps fastest female non black sprinter?

    I just want to point on that i am not trying to send some ethnic propaganda. It is just a strictly scientific idea that i have come up with, because I do think it lays a lot of truth in it. To become a top sprinters doing times world/europe. It surely can’t happen if you don’t possess the right genetics.

  • @ Mail for questions – I will be posting an article about Irena on Monday or Tuesday.. stay tuned!

    Also, while some people may not agree with your opinion, I am sure they will respect it.

  • polish propaganda against the germans those none europeans out there should realise that racism has little to do with colour but more to do with total ignorance and fear of other meaning that whites from poland just dont like germans and it has to do with centuries history thats why this pole feels that poles are more natural sprinters i do not agree german sprinters have achieved more then the poles at sprinting both in europe and at global level and is it not interesting for a white man to talk about the thighs of another whiteman both living side by side in europe i hope all black sprinters get a good laugh out of this ; not iam not german

  • and to say woronin was a world class sprinter in his day but he looked more germanic then slavic probably something to do with the fact that the germans wandered through poland at will during the past 3 or 4 hundred years !!!!?????

  • hi jimson good to hook up , for the record woronin was smooth and a fantastic sprint talent who could have done more , have look at eugen ray on youtube now that guy had it all a precurser to the modern power sprinter ; world cup 1977

  • No Woronin don’t look germanic, he looks like a typical pole. And you talk about that Germans wandered around Poland. Well ofcourse it is a (very small) amount of people that look germanic in Poland ( like 2-3 %) but that is nothing to compare with how many people look slavic in Germany. I mena way over 50 % of the germans look slavic, the explanation is that many slavic groups stayed already long time ago. There are whole villages with people with slavic surnames and who look totally slavic. So if the germans are germanic that is not true. I have even seen geen tests that shows that germans lay genetically between poles/ukrainans and swedes..
    (ofcourse allso many real Germanic people died in SS and so on)
    Not to mention that there are whole Slavic tribes that live in Germany who have conserved their language and culture, for example the Sorbs
    A germanic country is sweden, norway, ice land or denmark, Where utterly few good sprinters come from. Even if you tell that germans do better than poles (which is the most idiotic thing i have ever heard, all best white sprinters have been polish and Polands relay history beats all white countrys) and Germans are germanic (which also can be questioned) Germany has lots of more inhabitants and lots of more (percentally) track and field athletes..
    Slavs do best in athletics(ofcourse besides from east and west africans) and power sports and i lave in your face the day that some one actually do research on it and come to the conclusion that slavs are better built for power sports..

  • On the other hand, e.g Swedes are better built than other people for technique/jump events. The extremeely high number of good jumpers coming from Sweden (a so small country) proves this: Sjoberg, Holm, Bergkvist, Olsson, Green etc.

  • While the post that went on about Poland’s superior musical and rhythmic ability was a bit much, it is very interesting that a Slavic power superiority might indeed be apparent when compared to other Caucasian groups. It might be traced to a more direct link to those peoples from the middle east, which is believed to be the first stop made by the first humans to migrate out of Africa. I have always been fascinated with these racial and ethnic differences in ability, and really bothered by people who claim it is racist in any way. I think it is merely a further understanding, and thus greater appreciation, for the incredible diversity of the human species. Saying there are no differences between races and ethnicities is more racist. My own heritage is very mixed, with very convoluted west-European/mediterranean blood, but also native American. The result is that I am not great at either speed, power, or endurance sports, but am pretty good at them all (sub 11 seconds sprinting and sub 3:30 marathon, while not doing any running specific training).