WINDHOEK – America’s 21-year old sprinting sensation Michael Norman last Sunday clocked a remarkable 19.84 in the 200m at the Golden Grand Prix in Osaka, Japan to tumble the meeting’s all-time 200m record of 19.87 set by Namibia’s sprint legend Frank Fredericks 20 years ago.
Norman’s time of 19.84 is now the new 200m record of the IAAF World Challenge competition, and again demonstrated that the young American sprinter picked up where he left off last month when he clocked a jaw-dropping 43.45 in the 400m at the 61st Mt. SAC Relays at El Camino College in Los Angeles, USA.
In the large port city of Osaka in 1999 – 20 years ago to be precise – Namibia’s legendary sprinter Fredericks shocked the world when he smashed the course with a record time of 19.87, which become that meeting’s record time of the last 20 years until last Sunday when Norman brought it down to 19.84.
Running in the 100m and 200m, Fredericks who remains Namibia’s all-time greatest sprinter, won a combined four silver medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, making him so far Namibia’s only Olympic medalist.
He has also won gold medals at the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, All-Africa Games and Commonwealth Games. Fredericks has broken 20 seconds for the 200m 24 times. He also holds the third-fastest non-winning time for the 200m.
The Namibian legend is also the oldest man to have broken 20 seconds for the 200m. On 12 July 2002 in Rome, Fredericks won the 200m in a time of 19.99 seconds at the age of 34 years 283 days.