Sprinting legend Jim Hines, who was once the world's fastest man, died Saturday at the age of 76, the Olympics and World Athletics confirmed in obituaries on Monday. His cause of death was not revealed.
Hines was the first man to officially run 100 meters in under 10 seconds.
During the 1968 U.S. national track and field championships in Sacramento, he clocked in at 9.9 seconds in 100 meters with a hand timer and qualified for the Olympic Games in Mexico City. It was later electronically timed at 10.03 seconds. It wasn't until 1977 that electronic times were required for record ratification, World Athletics said.
Later that year, at the Olympics, Hines ran the race in 9.9 seconds again. However, the time was later electronically timed at 9.95 – making it the fastest time ever in the Games and the world and securing an individual gold for Team USA.
According to the Olympics, the record stood for 15 years — the longest anyone held the 100-meter world record in the electronic timing era.
Hines was also part of the 4X100 relay team that won gold in a then world-record of 38.24 in Mexico City.
Born in Arkansas and raised in Oakland, California, Hines was a multisport talent and played baseball early on until a track coach spotted his running abilities, according to World Athletics. After retiring from the sport, Hines went on to play in the NFL for two years as wide receiver, and had stints with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
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