Let’s face it. The average public only cares about 3 events in Track and Field.
The 100 meters, the Mile, and the Marathon. The biggest Mile milestone (no pun intended) will forever be known as the 4 minute mile.
In the Men’s 100 meters, that benchmark is 10 seconds flat. Period. Even today, unless the winner runs under 10 seconds, they feel disappointed.
Germany’s Armin Hary, the Gold medalist at the Rome Olympics, ran the first 100 meters in 10 seconds flat on June 21, 1960 in Zürich. He set a new World Record in the process that would become the standard in Track and Field.
Zurich was famous back then for fast times, personal bests, and World Records… and that was almost 50 years ago!
3 weeks later, Canada’s Harry Jerome also ran 10.0 (HT) in Saskatoon, Canada on July 15, 1960. Who says you can’t run fast times in Canada?
Bob Hayes also ran 10.0 Flat in Tokyo 1964.
The 10 second barrier wasn’t broken until Jim Hines ran a 9.9 WR in Sacramento, California, on June 20, 1968
Starting January 1, 1977, the IAAF required fully automatic timing to the hundredth of a second for events 400 meters or less.
I hate to rain on their parade, but 10.0 HT is really 10.24 FAT.
POP QUIZ: Who ran the first 20.0 second 200 meter race?
Here is the world’s first 10 Seconds Flat 100 meter Race on Youtube. Hary also ran a 21.06 200 meters later in the day.
Check the starter inside on Lane 1. When the smoke appears from the gun, Hary is already out of the blocks. His reflexes and acceleration are amazing even to this day.