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James R. "Jim" Hines

American athlete James R. "Jim" Hines was born on September 10, 1946. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, he won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash.

Born in Dumas, Arkansas, Hines was a baseball player in his younger years, until he was spotted by a track coach as a running talent and became a sprinter. At the 1968 US national championships in Sacramento, California, Hines became the first man to break the ten second barrier in the 100 meter race, setting 9.9 (manual timing), with a real time of 10.03 - two other athletes, Charles Greene and Ronnie Ray Smith having got the same time on the other semi-final.

A few months later, at the Olympics themselves, Hines — a black athlete — found himself in a tense situation, with racial riots going on in his home country and a threat of a boycott by the black athletes of the US team. Hines did reach the 100 m final, and won it. There was some controversy over his exact time, but eventually his time of 9.95 was recognised as a new World Record (electronically timed and therefore considered quicker than his 9.9). Hines helped breaking another World Record when he and his teammates sprinted to the 4 x 100 m relay gold at the same Games.

Hines' World Record remained unbeaten for an exceptionally long time, until Calvin Smith ran 9.93 in 1983.

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