Jim Hines, first man to break 10-second barrier in 100-meter dash, dies at 76

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, he ran an electronically-timed 9.95 — winning gold and setting a world record that stood for 15 years.

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American Jim Hines (right), the first athlete who officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters has died at the age of 76.

American Jim Hines (right), the first athlete who officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters has died at the age of 76.

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American sprinter and 1968 Olympic gold medalist Jim Hines died Saturday, according to a news release from World Athletics, the international federation that oversees track and field. He was 76.

The news release did not specify the cause or manner of his death.

Born in Arkansas and raised in California, Hines is best known as the first man to break the 10-second barrier in the 100-meter dash with electronic timing.

According to World Athletics, he recorded a hand-timed 9.9 at the 1968 U.S. Championships but it was adjusted, with electronic timing, to 10.03. A few months later, at the 1968 Summer Olympics, he ran an electronically-timed 9.95 — winning gold and setting a new world record that stood for 15 years.

Hines’ performance was one of several world records set at the 1968 Games, which were held in Mexico City at more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Those Olympics are perhaps best remembered for the on-podium protests of John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who raised black-gloved fists after winning medals in the 200-meter dash.

After winning Olympic gold, Hines went on to have a brief foray in the NFL. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round in hopes that his track speed would translate to football, but he ultimately lasted only parts of two seasons in the league. He recorded only one rushing attempt, returned one kickoff and caught two passes for 23 yards.

Read more at usatoday.com

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