Wednesday, June 3, 2015

V 5 N. 51 Henry Carr, 1964 Olympic Champion 200 M. Dies

It is indeed a busy day with 5 postings on this site, but the saddest is this one announcing the death of 1964 Olympic 200 meters champion Henry Carr.

Henry Carr

Henry moved to Detroit from Montgomery, AL

 and made a name for himself on the tracks in Michigan before travelling to Tempe, Arizona where he ran at Arizona State with a superb group of 440 runners including Ulis Williams and Ron Freeman.   My Oklahoma team journeyed to Tempe each Spring for a dual or triangular meet with the Sun Devils.  Naturally Henry was not too heavily challenged by our sprinters.   I distinctly recall him waiting in the infield during the 4x440 relay to run the anchor.  As his teammate was approaching the middle of the last turn, Henry was still in his sweats.  Somehow he managed to casually remove them and step out on the track just in time to take the baton and breeze away from our anchor runner.  He was as smooth and unstrained in his sprinting as anyone I've ever seen.  He set an Olympic record at Tokyo and at sometime in his career also a world record.  He never ran on an artificial surface and managed a 20.2 for his best 200 meters.

Sports Reference remembers him thus:
Henry Carr won the NCAA 220y in 1963 and tied for first place in the AAU. The following year, as a member of the Phoenix Olympic Club, he won the AAU outright and lowered the world record for the furlong to 20.2, having himself set the previous record of 20.3 in 1963. At the Tokyo Olympics he won the 200m in a new Olympic record of 20.3 and ran a 44.5 anchor leg in the 1,600 meter relay to bring the U.S. home in a new world record of 3:00.7. In two seasons (1963-64), Carr lost only two races at 200m/220y. Henry Carr went on to a good career in pro football as a defensive back with the New York Giants from 1965 through 1968. He later became a devout Christian and worked as a lay preacher.
Personal Bests: 100y – 9.3 (1963); 100 – 10.2 (1964); 200 – 20.1y (1964); 400 – 45.4 (1963).Here's a nice tribute from another source

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