Michael Johnson

Undoubtedly one of the greatest modern athletes, Michael Johnson ‘s finest moment came in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, in which he became the first (and only) male athlete to win individual gold medals in the 200m and 400m. If that wasn’t enough, his 200m time of 19.32 broke the then-world record (also set by Johnson) by over 3 tenths of a second.

Johnson also holds the world record for the 400m in a time of 43.18, which was set in 1999 and which has no-one has come within 0.1 seconds of breaking. He was also part of the USA 4x400m relay team that set the world record for the event in the 1993 World Championships.

Though earning 4 Olympic Gold and 8 World Championship Gold medals is no mean feat, Johnson could and should have had one more: the 4 x 400m Gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Despite the USA team winning in a then-world record time, it later transpired that two members of the squad (one from the final and one who had helped during the earlier stages) had taken performance-enhancing drugs in the build-up to the Games. Johnson returned his medal in 2008.

Nevertheless, as the current 400m world record holder, the oldest winner of an Olympic Gold in a sprint event, the only man ever to win gold in the 200m and 400m in the same olympics, and the holder of the 200m world record for 12 years before Usain Bolt arrived on the scene, Michael Johnson will always be at the top of the track and field Hall of Fame.


  1. Jesse Owens
  2. Carl Lewis
  3. Paula Radcliffe
  4. Roger Bannister
  5. Kelly Holmes
  6. Maurice Greene
  7. Haile Gebrselassie
  8. Hicham El Geurrouj
  9. Merlene Ottey




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