|A great American track and field athlete--Edwin Corley Moses
[ 2006-09-13 11:24 ]
Edwin Corley Moses (born in Dayton, Ohio, August 31, 1955)
is an American track and field athlete who won gold medals in the 400-meter
hurdles at the 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won
107 consecutive finals (122 consecutive races). He set the world record in his
event four times. In addition to his running, Moses was also an innovative
reformer in the areas of Olympic eligibility and drug testing.
Dayton, Ohio, Moses accepted an academic scholarship to Morehouse College in
Atlanta and majored in physics and engineering while competing for the school
track team. Morehouse did not have its own track, so he used public high school
facilities around the city to train. Initially, Moses competed mostly in the
180-yard hurdles and 440-yard dash. Before March, 1976, he ran only one
400-meter hurdles race, but once he began focusing on the event he made
remarkable progress. His trademark technique was to take 13 steps between all
the hurdles (or even 12 between some hurdles), pulling away in the second half
of the race as his rivals changed stride pattern. That summer, he qualified for
the US team for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
Though it was his
first international meet, Moses won the gold medal and set a world record of
47.64 seconds. He was the only American male in Montreal to win an individual
track and field gold medal.
After breaking his own world record the
following year, Moses lost to Germany's Harald Schmid on August 26, 1977 in
Berlin, his fourth defeat in the 400-meter hurdles. Beginning the next week,
when he beat Schmid by 15 meters in Düsseldorf, Moses would not lose again for
almost a decade.
By the time American Danny Harris beat Moses in Madrid
on June 4, 1987, Moses had won 122 consecutive races, set the world record two
more times, won three World Cup titles, won two World Championships, and earned
his second Olympic gold medal in Los Angeles, where he was selected to take the
Olympic Oath. After losing to Harris, he won 10 more races in a row, then
finished third in the final 400-meter race of his career at the 1988 Summer
Olympics in Seoul.