The man regarded as the most relaxed sprinter of all time and the dominant sprinter of the 1950s, Bobby Morrow, passed away yesterday at the age of 84 years.
Bobby Morrow, won three gold medals for the USA at the 1956 Olympic Games to remains one of just four men to win Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the same Games, alongside Jesse Owens (1936), Carl Lewis (1984) and Usain Bolt (2012 and 2016).
During a relatively short career, he set 11 ratified world records.
Born in Harlingen, Texas in October 1935 and raised on a farm in San Benito, Morrow first put his natural speed to use when playing football at high school, but he later focused on sprinting.
In 1956, Morrow – aged just 20 at the turn of the year – enjoyed the greatest season of his young career. Having won the 100m and 200m double at the NCAA Championships and then at the US Olympic Trials, Morrow lined up as one of the big medal favourites at the Olympic Games in Melbourne.
He contracted a virus just days before the Games, which led to him losing 10lb in body weight, but even that couldn’t stop Morrow. He comfortably won the 100m – into a stiff -2.5m/s headwind – and three days later, competing with strapping on his thigh, he equalled the world record of 20.6 in the 200m to take his second gold of the Games.
Morrow capped his Olympic campaign with a third gold medal and another world record, this time when anchoring the USA to victory in the 4x100m. Their winning time of 39.5 broke a world record that had stood for 20 years to the winners of the 1936 Olympic title, a team that was anchored by Jesse Owens.
His achievements in 1956 led to Morrow being named the Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsman of the Year’.