Allen Johnson, winning USA Indoors, 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Per a report by the BBC, Allen Johnson announced his retirement from competition at the Gateshead meeting on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Johnson is the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, plus four time World Champ gold medalist, in one of the most competitive events in the sport of track & field-the 110 meter hurdles.
Allen Johnson, Gold medalist, World Indoor Champs 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net.
I flew with Allen Johnson from Barcelona to Sevilla in 1999, and got a chance to speak to him. Thoughtful, articulate, a student of the sport, Allen was dealing with injuries and he was quite realistic about his chances. The man would come back and win in 2001 and 2003. TFN, the bible of our sport, ranked Allan 14 straight years!
Allen Johnson, hurdling in Monaco, 2005, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Allen Johnson was always very good with the media. I have recollections of interviewing Allen on several occasions, while he was in Europe, just after a meet. He was always willing to speak about the sport he loved and his event, the hurdles.
Allen Johnson was to do an interview on BBC with Colin Jackson, his fellow competitor in the hurdle wars, on Saturday evening. I am trying to get a copy of that for you to see!
In 1995, at Goteborg, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rodger Kingdom, Tony Jarrett and Allen Johnson. Still one of my favorite interviews ever, Jarrett and Johnson were paying homage to Kingdom, who was near the end of his career. After running against the same
competitors, race after race, year after year, an appreciation of the opposition is hard won.
At Runblogrun.com we wanted to make sure that Allen Johnson knew how much he has influenced our sport, but most importantly, he has shown a sense of class through his career that gained him the respect of his competitors and the love of his fans. He will be sorely missed!
Allen Johnson, leaving the 2008 Olympic Trials , photo by PhotoRun.net.
Biography of Allen Johnson, courtesy of USATF.org.
7-time U.S. Outdoor champion (’96, ’97, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’05); 1996 Olympic
gold medalist; 4-time World Outdoor champion (’95, ’97, ’01, ’03); 3-time World Indoor 60mH champion
(’95, ’03, ’04); 2008 World Indoor silver medalist; 4-time U.S. Indoor champ (’95, ’02, ’03, ’04);
1997 World Champs 4×400 gold medalist; 2005 World Outdoor Champs bronze
medalist; 1992 NCAA Indoor 55H champ; 1997 Jesse Owens Award winner
ended the 2007 season ranked #6 in the world in the men’s 110m hurdles by
Track & Field News, which extended his consecutive years’ streak ranked
globally in the top ten to a remarkable 14 years. During those 14 years Johnson
has been ranked in the top five 12 times, and ranked #1 in the world on four
occasions. Hampered with a sore left hamstring in his trail leg most of the 2006
season, Johnson produced a sparkling meet-record time of 12.96 seconds to win
the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Cup in
in September. After posting his fastest time in nearly a decade, Johnson said
that he took full advantage of the opportunity to compete in Athens. “The reason
why I am here is that my training partner Lashinda Demus and our coach were
here,” Johnson explained after his race. “I was just here training, then Ryan
(Wilson) pulled out. The U.S. officials said, ‘Hey Allen, since you are here,
will you run?’ I said, ‘sure’. “I knew that if I ran my race I could win. I
wanted to prove the old guy (35) is still there.” Johnson became the greatest
hurdler in World Championships history on August 30, 2003 in Paris, leading Team
USA to a 1-2-4-5 finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2003 IAAF World Outdoor
Track & Field Championships. It was his record 4th world crown in the hurdles,
leading virtually from start to finish, crossing the finish line in 13.12. With
the win, he surpassed Greg Foster’s three championships from 1983, ’87, and ’91,
and added to his own titles from 1995, ’97 and ’01…Johnson clipped a hurdle and
fell during the first round of competition at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens,
but ended the season with three of the top seven times in the world that year.
Suffering from injuries in 2000 and early in 2001, Johnson came back to remind
the world that he is the top 110m hurdler, winning the 2001 World Championships
and Goodwill Games. A multi-talented performer, the 1996 Olympic champion was
recruited out of high school as a decathlete. UNC coach Dennis Craddock gave up
on the decathlon idea on discovering that Johnson was too injury prone. During
college, he focused on the hurdles and the long jump (8.14m/26-8.5 best). Former
hurdle great Charles Foster, then an assistant at North Carolina, taught Johnson
much of his early hurdling technique. While watching the ’92 Olympics on
television with his family, Johnson predicted that he would win the ’96 Olympic
gold. Is single; has one daughter, Tristine…in April 1998 sponsored the Allen
Johnson High School Invitational at his old high school, Lake Braddock. Johnson
led a successful fund drive for a new track surface at Lake Braddock, an act
that contributed to him being named USATF’s 1999 Visa Humanitarian of the Year
… says ‘track keeps me busy year-round, except for four weeks after the season
when I chill.’…would like to own his own business some day…suffered
hamstring injury before 2000 and ankle injury in early 2001. Johnson is blind in
his left eye.
2008: 7th at adidas Track Classic (13.83)…World Indoor
Champs silver medalist (7.55)…USA Indoor Champs runner-up (7.53)
at USA Outdoor Championships (13.60)…1st at Berlin (13.33)…3rd
at Zurich (13.23)…6th at World Athletic Final (13.36)…best of 13.23.
World Cup champion (12.96)…5th in semifinals at AT&T
USA Outdoors (13.59)…3rd at Nike Prefontaine Classic (13.39)…ranked #2 in world
(#1 U.S.) by T&FN…best of 12.96.
1st in 110mH at USA Outdoor Champs (12.99)…World Outdoor Champs bronze medalist
(13.10)…1st at World Athletics Final (13.09)…1st in 110mH at Reebok
Grand Prix (13.03)…1st in 60mH at Millrose Games (7.53)…5th in 60m at Millrose
Games (6.69)…ranked #2 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN…best of 12.99.
2004: World Indoors gold medalist (7.36 tied AR)…3rd at
Olympic Trials 110m hurdles (13.29)…did not finish in opening round
at Olympic Games after hitting a hurdle…USA Indoors champion
(7.44)…2nd in 110mH at Nike Prefontaine Classic (13.14)…1st at Mt.
SAC (13.25)…2nd (13.32) and 4th in 200m at Martinique (20.83)…1st
at Banamex (13.08)…1st at US Payton Jordan in 110mH (13.12)…2nd at
IAAF Japan Grand Prix (13.13)…1st at Mt. Sac (13.25)…1st in 60m
hurdles at Verizon Millrose Games (7.43)…1st in 60mH at Tyson Foods
Invitational (7.56)…5th in 60m at Tyson Foods Invitational
(6.67)…ranked #2 in world (#1 U.S.)…best of 13.05.
2003: World Outdoor champion (13.12)…USA Indoor champion (7.39)…World
Indoor 60mH champion (7.47)…USA Outdoor champion (13.37)…1st at Home Depot
Invitational Outdoors (13.20)…1st at Gaz de France (12.97, World Leader)…1st in
Lausanne, Switzerland (13.06)…1st at Golden Gala (13.08)…World Outdoor 110mH
champion (13.12)…1st at Memorial Van Damme (13.16)…best of 12.97ranked #1 in
the world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN.
2002: USA Outdoor champ (13.08)…USA Indoor champ (7.45)…2nd
at World Cup (13.45 into a 2.2 mps headwind)…1st at Piraeus
(7.50)…1st at Lievin (7.50)…1st at Fort-de-France (13.04, U.S.
leader and 2nd fastest in the world)…2nd at Rethymno (13.13)…1st at
Prefontaine (13.16)…3rd in Lausanne (13.16)…2nd at Pretoria
(13.26)…ranked #2 in the world (#1 U.S.)…best of 13.04AL.
2001: Won third World Outdoor title in fastest time in the world in 2001
(13.04)…USA Outdoor champ (13.22 into strong headwind)…1st at Goodwill Games
(13.16)…2nd at Grand Prix Final where he missed the overall Grand Prix title by
just one pointwon Paris GP (13.15 beating Olympic gold and silver
medalists)…won Bislett Games (13.21)…1st at Norwich Union Challenge (13.31)…1st
in Berlin 13.04=WL)…ranked #1 in the world by T&FN…best of 13.04.
2000: 4th at Olympics (13.23)…suffered a hamstring injury competing in
Japan just prior to the Olympics, which hindered his performance in Sydney …
won Olympic trials 110H in world-leading 12.97…won adidas D.C.
Invitational…won Pontiac Grand Prix (13.34)…won adidas Oregon Track Classic
(13.27)…4th at Millrose (7.69)…did not compete at USA Indoor Champs…ranked
#2 in world (#1 U.S) by T&FN…best of 12.97.
1999: Injured much of season…2nd at USA Outdoors (13.15w)…dns semis
at World Champs (calf injury)…ranked #5 in world (#3 U.S.) by T&FN…best of
1998: Skipped hurdles at USA Outdoors to run 200, where he placed
second… ran 13.10 or better five times… ranked #2 world (#2 U.S.) by
T&FN…ranked #6 in U.S. at 200…bests of 12.98 and 20.54.
1997: Won second world title in 110HH at World Champs, also won second
gold as anchor leg in heats for winning 4×400 relay (46.4 split)…won 110HH at
USA Outdoors; qualified for 200 semis but did not compete…ranked #1 in world
by T&FN…bests of 12.93 and 20.26.
1996: Won gold at Olympic Games (12.95)… won Olympic Trials (12.92)
…2nd in 60HH at USA Indoors… ranked #1 in world by T&FN…bests of 12.92AR
1995: Gold at World Outdoor Champs…also won World Indoors and USA
Indoors…snapped Colin Jacksons 32-meet winning streak by beating him in
Madrid…2nd at USA Outdoors… runner-up at GP Final…became the fourth man to
break 13 seconds for the 110 hurdles…ranked #2 in world and U.S. in hurdles by
T&FN…best of 12.98, and also 10.42 in the 100.
1994: 5th in 60HH at USA Indoors… 3rd in 110HH at USA Outdoors… 2nd
at World Cup… ranked sixth in world and third in U.S. by T&FN…bests of 13.25
1993: 2nd in 55H at NCAA Indoors, 11th in LJ… 2nd in LJ at ACC
Outdoors… 2nd in 110HH at NCAA Outdoors… 5th at USA Outdoors… 3rd at U.S.
Olympic Festival… ranked sixth in U.S. by T&FN…bests of 13.47 and 26-8.5i.
1992: Won 55H at NCAA Indoors… 3rd at NCAA Outdoors… 7th in heats at
Olympic Trials…bests of 13.63 and 25-5.25i.
1991: Bests of 14.11, 52.00 (400H), 25-9.25 and 48-4.5.
1990: Bests of 14.4 and 24-2
1989: Won Virginia HS indoor state 55H title… won HJ, LJ, 3rd in 110H
at state final outdoors… bests of 14.21, 37.75, 6-11, 24-5.25 and 48-8.
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