Michael Johnson is acknowledged as the greatest long sprinter in the history of track & field, specializing in the 200 and 400 metres. Johnson made his Olympic début in 1992, but was ill at the time, and his only medal, a gold, came in the 4×400 metre relay. At Atlanta in 1996, he won both the 200 and 400 metres, the first man to accomplish that feat at the Olympics, with his 200 metre victory achieved in the stunning world record time of 19.32. Johnson’s Olympic career ended at Sydney, where he defended his 400 metre title, and added what was, at the time, a second gold in the 4×400 relay, giving him five gold medals in all, although the 2000 4×400 gold would be taken away because of doping penalties against Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Young. At the World Championships, Johnson was even more dominant, winning the 200 metres in 1991 and 1995, and the 400 metres in 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999. He added the 400 metre world record in August 1999, when he ran 43.18 in Seville, Spain. With his upright style and short, rapid strides, he was an unmistakable figure on the track and is universally recognized as being the greatest one-lap runner ever.
Personal Bests: 200 – 19.32 (1996); 400 – 43.18 (1999).