Interesting Facts about Ben Johnson (Sprinter)

>> June 07, 2011

We all agreed that Carl Lewis was superb in 4 Olympics and World championships. But Ben Johnson (b. 1961) was the greatest back in 1985 to 1988!. People remember Ben for his great physique perhaps, apart from 'Seoul 88'. He has some similarities with the current top sprinter Usain Bolt. Both sprinters were born in the same resident (Trelawny, Jamaica), but Ben emigrated to Canada when he was a teen (1976). Ben Johnson became the World champion in 1987 and Olympic champion in 1988. Here is a lists of the facts about Ben Johnson during his track career. You can also read interesting facts about Usain Bolt.

Ben Johnson get ready to rock the 100m at the 1988 Olympics
  • Ben entered track an field at age of 14 and produced a World record 11 years later
  • He was guided by an experienced and qualified coach since the beginning of career
  • Most of Ben's training needs and expenses were sponsored by his coach
  • He never had to work at an off-track job during his entire running career
  • He was massaged by coach (1978-1980), by therapist (1981-1986), and by regeneration specialist (1986-1988)
  • Ben's first international success was in 1982 Commonwealth Games when he won silver in the 100m
  • He won the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics with a time of 10.22s
  • He had only one serious injury which occurred 2 months before the 1988 Olympics (third degree hamstring pull)
  • During an injury period in 1988, he performed 2sets x 10reps x 160kg in Bench Press
  • His Bench Press had improved from 3x136kg in 1986 to 3x155kg in 1987 to 2x185kg in 1988 (Consider 190kg at 1RM!!)
  • Ben ran at a top speed of 12.1 metres per second or 44.4 kilometres per hour
  • After breaking the WR in 1987, Ben earned around USD 480,000 a month in endorsements
  • His unique style coming off the blocks remains 'uneasy' to be imitated or simulated by anyone else
  • He was really cool and quiet when winning his races - Yes, if you think Tyson Gay is cool, Ben was so much humble and earthy
  • He was very consistent at starts (reaction). Many people thought he was foul started in 1987 World champs in Rome, but his actual reaction was 0.129
  • The difference of 100m's time between Ben Johnson & Carl Lewis in 1988 was greater (0.13) than Usain Bolt & Tyson Gay in 2009 (0.11)
  • He has been a World champion, Olympic champion, Commonwealth champion, World cup champion, World Indoor champion, Goodwill Games champion.
Ben Johnson's lifetime achievements (just to mention a few):

World records at 100m (9.83s - 1987, 9.79s - 9.79s)
World records at 60m (6.41s - 1987, 6.44s - 1987, 6.44s - 1987, 6.50s - 1986)
Olympic champion at 100m (1988 - 9.79s)
World champion at 100m (1987 - 9.83s)
World champion at 60m (1985 & 1987 - 6.41s)
World cup champion at 100m (1985 - 10.00s)
Commonwealth champion at 100m (1986 - 10.07s)

Major sources:
Training for Speed (by Charlie Francis, Ben Johnson's coach)
Speed Trap (by Charlie Francis)

# All the facts mentioned are sort of straight facts, which is generally means 'all conditions' is applicable.

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