THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CARL LEWIS BREAKS 100M’S 10 SECONDS BARRIER

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

On this date, 16 July 1988, American sprinter, Carl Lewis broke the 10 seconds barrier in the 100 metres race when he ran a wind-assisted race in 9.78 seconds. That was at the Summer Olympics in Seoul.

He later ran the 100 metres race under 10 seconds 15 times before his retirement. In the 200 metres race, the American sensational sprinter ran the 200 metres in 20 seconds 10 times.  Lewis also long jumped over 28 feet seventy-one times.

But it is the 100 metres final race at the 1988 Summer Olympics that was one of the most sensational sports stories of that year.

Its unexpected outcome ranked as one of the most infamous sports stories of the century. Canadian Ben Johnson won in 9.79 seconds, to set a new world record, while Lewis set a new American record with 9.92 seconds.

But three days later, Johnson tested positive for steroids, his medal was taken away and Lewis was awarded gold and credited with a new Olympic record.