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BURKE Thomas (1875 - 1929) United States / Track and field
The American athlete, Thomas Burke, was the first modern 100 m Olympic champion. He caused general hilarity throughout the Athens stadium when he put his hands down to the ground to give him a faster starting position. He went on to prove that this technique had its advantages and won the event in 12 seconds, the timing of course being recorded manually.A few days later, no-one dared laugh at him when he picked up another gold medal for the 400 m!
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