#100MOMENTSIN100DAYS: Kevin Young Breaks Barriers in Barcelona

Olympics

ByTheMinRio2016

The Men's 400m Hurdles. It's known as being one of the physically toughest events known to man. A full lap of the track, 10 obstacles in your way, and you have to sprint every inch of the way. Feck that for a game of soldiers...is what most of us would say....

However, as we all know, a few lunatics (or brave heroes) have excelled at this event. Here's your first quiz question. Name me the most famous Male 400m Hurdle Runner ever..... Aye, everyone said Ed Moses too. Pat yourself on the back.

Now, while ol' Ed is fully deserving of his standing in the pantheon of Male 400m Hurdlers, I'm here to tell you about a man who 'arguably' deserves to be even more well known. Meet Kevin Young

If you just said (in your head, or out loud, I'm not here to judge) 'WHO?', you're probably not alone. Yet what Kevin Young achieved in the summer of 1992 had never been achieved before....and has never been achieved since... Got your attention now? Good.

We're in Barcelona, Spain. The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, best remembered for: A tune by Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Cabalé A fella with a flaming arrow that 'lit' the Olympic Flame (despite missing the cauldron by 50 feet and possibly starting a fire in the next town) An American Baskteball Team that were pretty handy. See? No mention of Kevin Young...

August 6th 1992. Men's 400m Hurdles Olympic Final. Here's the starting line-up:

What Kevin Young achieves in the next 46.79 seconds has put him in the record books ever since. Deploying a previously unheralded '12 and 13 stride pattern' between hurdles, Young destroys the field, and becomes the first man in history (and still the first man ever) to break 47 seconds for this event. You understand, right? NOBODY HAD EVERY DONE THIS BEFORE, NOR HAS EVER DONE IT SINCE.

Upon crossing the line, his opponent from Great Britain Kris Akabusi, approached him, patted him on the ass and whispered in his ear:

While Young brought the 12/13 stride pattern idea to the attention of the world, nobody has been able to even come close since. The 400m Hurdles is a sprint race, where hundreths of a second routinely separate the best from the rest. Well...have a look at the best times each YEAR since the turn of the century...Yep, Young is almost at least HALF A SECOND quicker than anyone since 2000.

There aren't many world records that are still standing after 24 years, and probably even fewer that you probably didn't even realise were so impressive. So there you go. Kevin Young. The man with the World Record that few knew of which should be known by everyone. Until our next #100MomentsIn100Days... ADIOS!

NiallHawthorne

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