Donovan Bailey

Donovan Bailey at the ASV - sports festival in Cologne 1997

Donovan Bailey ( born December 16, 1967 at the Manchester Parish, Jamaica) is a former Canadian track and field athlete.

Bailey was born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica. His family emigrated to Canada when he was 13 years old. Before his graduation, he played basketball. He began in 1991 to take part in athletics competitions, but at first only as a leisure activity. In addition, he worked successfully as a trader. Only in 1994, he focused on the top-level sport.

Just a year later he made ​​his international breakthrough. At the World Championships in Gothenburg, he won both the 100 meters and the 4 x 100 - meter relay.

This double victory he repeated in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. In the 100 - meter race, he presented 9.84 s to a new world record. Many Canadians were of the view that this success is the good image of Canadian athletes restored, which had been ruined by Ben Johnson doping scandal. At the World Championships 1997 he again won relay gold and was in the 100 - meter race second behind Maurice Greene.

Fastest man in the world?

With its spectacular 200 - meter world record run of Atlanta 1996 Michael Johnson reached an average speed of 37.267 km / h, what, two 100-meter time of 9.66 s per meant. These were significantly lower than the former 100-meter world record of Canadian Donovan Bailey ( 9.84 s ), which meant that Johnson was " fastest man in the world " chosen by many predominantly domestic media for. The fact that this alleged phenomenon has its origin in that in the 200-meter run, the second one hundred meters to be covered with a flying start, was not considered. Likewise, the fact that Pietro Mennea already been attained at the record run in 1979 in Mexico City with 36.511 km / h has a value which has two 100-meter time of 9.86 s per corresponded and only twelve years later at this distance from the U.S. American Carl Lewis was set. On the other hand was in athletics has always been the 100-meter world record holder commonly called the fastest man in the world, as traditionally on the short sprint distance the highest speeds can be achieved. Thus, Donovan Bailey took this legal claim for themselves, because he not only held the record at this time, but also the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 100 meters was. Seriously raised that with Michael Johnson not only a proven long sprinters, but also an American doubts about the legality of this title, led in due time to a bitter rivalry between two athletes. Finally, a duel between two stars was set for the summer of 1997, which should clarify the question of the " fastest man " clearly. The race distance was set at 150 meters, to create a compromise between the different specialized routes of the main players. In addition to running duel even further comparisons between known members of the Athletics were planned, such as the long jump between Heike Drechsler and Jackie Joyner - Kersee. Since the announcement of the project, the sporty spirit of this event has been repeatedly questioned. Many observers saw the real reason for this by many as " Circus " dubbed staging is to make the USA Track & Field for sponsors attractive. No later than the mid-1990s, Americans had to give their supremacy in the short sprints. In addition, ceded by the competition stage with Carl Lewis one of the last great figureheads. Michael Johnson should be built on the new superstar. On June 1, 1997, this event was finally discharged under the name One -to-one Challenge of Champions in the SkyDome in Toronto. More than 60 countries bought the TV rights to the event, the highlight of which undoubtedly represented the duel over the 150 meters. Alone for the winner of this run, which was under the theme The world 's fastest we performed a hitherto unique premium of $ 1.5 million had been budgeted.

The run itself was the question of who for now has the honor of being considered the fastest man in the world, do not answer. The prize money secured while Donovan Bailey, as he s first crossed with a time of 14.99 to finish line, Michael Johnson, however, was the middle of the race, on the other hand. His creation of a pulled muscle in his thigh was considered by his Canadian opponent only with scorn and derision, which cast a further shadow over this event. Since Johnson after a weak start already significantly lagged from the start, it was suggested by quite a few observers that he wanted to forestall an imminent defeat with his task. Bailey apologized, although the next day for his verbal gaffes, but the accusation of questionable nature of this event could not be ruled out.

After Bailey had always struggled with injuries and was not able to build on its previous achievements. In 2001, he announced his retirement. Bailey still holds the indoor world record over 50 meters as well as the Canadian record for the 100 meters.

Bailey is athlete ambassador of development organization Right to Play.