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Birth of A Mach Man

Posted September. 15, 2002 23:05,   


‘9.78 seconds.’

He, who crossed the finish line first, did not know that he set the World Record. He knew ‘something’ happened after his coach jumped at him. That was an unexpected World Record. The moment that Tim Montgomery (27. USA) listed his name as the ‘Mach Man,’ who was the fastest in the world, was dramatic like that.

The Men’s 100m Dash Final of the IAAF Grand Prix in Paris, France. Montgomery dashed out as fast as the starting gunshot. Considering the average reaction time of 0.2 seconds, his of 0.104 was an excellent record. He ran alone without a competitor from the start.

Even wind even helped him. The tail wind blew 2m per second. There was nothing to bother him since he had good start, and wind was helping him. If the tail wind blew faster than 2m per second, his record might had been listed unofficial. Considering his best record was 9.83, and it was 9.91 in this season, his World Record was not expected by anyone.

After the game, Montgomery showed his delightfulness by saying, “A World Record is set on the least expected situations. Today was relatively chilly. It was same when I set my best record of 9.84 in last year. However, wind was perfect and my start was also perfect. And the World Record has been set. There is no perfect day like this. In fact, I knew that I set the World Record after my coach hugged me and raised me up high.”

The former World Record holder Morris Green, who watched the race in the audience not participating on the competition due to accumulation of fatigue congratulated him, “There is a magical day for an athlete. Today’s the day for Montgomery,” but he used this as a chance for exertion saying, “I, however, don’t feel timid because of that. I can run faster.”

The ‘Queen of Sprint’ Marian Jones (USA), who won the Women’s 100m Dash Final (10.88 seconds) that day hugged with Montgomery and congratulated him, “Imagine human being can run fastest in the world. I am just amazed by that.”

In the meantime, Montgomery collected total of 250,000 US dollars in prize money including the World Record prize money (100,000 US dollars) for his record.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com