10 seconds of fame


Who first broke through the key 10-second barrier running 100 metres is a bit controversial thanks to the more limited timekeeping technology of the sixties. Was it Bob Hayes in 1964 or Jim Hines in 1968? But beyond question Su Bingtian is the first Chinese (and first Asian-born) sprinter to do so. He ran 9.99 in Eugene, Oregon last weekend (the race was won by American Tyson Gay with 9.88). “I can write my name into history now,” Su celebrated.Netizens were delighted. “He is not only the hero for China, but also for Asia” was a typical comment. Reuters has pointed out that Qatar’s Femi Ogunode clocked a faster time at the Asian Games last year of 9.93. But it adds that Ogunode was born in Nigeria and only naturalised as a Qatari in 2010.

Su’s achievement eclipses – by the blink of an eye – that of fellow Chinese sprinter Zhang Peimeng, who clocked 10.00 flat at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

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