Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Abderrahman Samba - from nowhere to world domination
    #1
    Has anyone ever burst onto the scene as Samba has?!
    Literally from nowhere to complete domination in just one year's time.
    Plus the 400m hurdles is a technical event, unlike the 100m where we see naturally fast athletes can do well with very little experience.
    Still I can't think of anyone there who has come to dominate an event as quickly as Samba.
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    #2
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    Edwin Moses did a pretty good job of it in 1976.
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    #3
    Going back even further, Glenn Davis in 1956.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleRBar View Post
    Edwin Moses did a pretty good job of it in 1976.
    Indeed. I saw him in the 1976 Florida Relays in late March, when no one had heard of him, and less than 4 months later he was WR-holder and Oly Champ - on his way to GOATness.
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    #5
    So Samba and Moses. How strange that their sudden greatness happened in the same event.
    Have there been other rapid ascents to greatness in other events?
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    #6
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    From a nowhere to somewhere story one would be hard pressed to beat the Mel Pender story. 1963 in Okinawa Pender is ordered to compete in the Okinama Army TNF competition. Chooses the 100yards as it is the shortest race on the programme. Less than 12 months later he is competing in the 100m at Tokyo.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by KDFINE View Post
    Going back even further, Glenn Davis in 1956.
    What is the Glenn Davis story?
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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuariki View Post
    From a nowhere to somewhere story one would be hard pressed to beat the Mel Pender story. 1963 in Okinawa Pender is ordered to compete in the Okinama Army TNF competition. Chooses the 100yards as it is the shortest race on the programme. Less than 12 months later he is competing in the 100m at Tokyo.
    too bad it's not true. I think it has been pointed out before here that this is a myth. He ran 9.6y in '61.
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    #9
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    Archie Williams was a total non-entity in 1935. The next year he broke the WR and won at the NCAAs, the Trials and the Olympics.
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    #10
    As best I recall from what I'd read, Davis hadn't run the intermediates prior to 1956. He was second to Aubrey Lewis in the event in '56 NCAA meet running 51 and change. Back then the event was only run at the NCAA Meet in Olympic years. At the Olympic Trials the 22 year old Davis knocked nine tenths off Lituyev's WR bringing it down to 49.5. Eighteen year old Eddie Southern was also under the WR. Southern set an Olympic record at 50.1 in the semis. They swept at the Melbourne Olympics with Davis tying the record with 50.1, Southern second and Culbreath getting the bronze. Like the open 400 the semi finals and finals were run on the same day. In '60 he set the WR at 49.2. In the Olympic he won running 49.3 leading another sweep with Cushman and Howard. He retired after the '60 season.
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