Why Was Ben's Start So Incredible?

I believe he gets way more separation than Asafa gets today…

I’ve seen Asafa carry his trail leg low…Bud Winter from San Jose State advocated a similar motion in his Rocket Start which he stated was his own adaptation of Armin Harry’s blazing start…

So…what did Ben do that was so special…

Speed Trap?

lol, someone didn’t read the forum rules.

and I Pm’d him about it at the time …oh well :rolleyes:

He was strong as shit. Very explosive.

Charlie, what race do you feel was Ben’s best start out of the blocks?

Interesting potential here, provided it sticks within our guidelines.


PS: Can everyone fix their avatars (upload one), i had some issues bringing them back after i tried to update the website! Thanks :slight_smile:

I like your new head Rupert. kk

I think what allowed Ben to be so much better of a starter than everyone else was genetics. Coaching played a part as well, but I don’t think as much. If I had coached Ben through the 80s without having injured him too many times, he’d probably still have beaten everyone to the 20m mark, but would have run 10.4 :).

Ben was an amazing starting even at an young age and (I think) before he had such massive strength.

I remember speaking to one of the 100m finalists in Helsinki in 83 and he told me the guy with the most talent had not reached the inaugural world championship final. He said watch for Ben Johnson. He was the future of the event. Precient because it wasn’t really until 85 that Ben came through in a big way and then in 87 he showed he was unique. That start, especially viewed “live” , was worthy of the term “shock and awe”.

How about I just ask Ben? I’m due for a new year cocktail with him…


and how do they compare to his so called false starts, i.e.

Indoor WC 87 Final
Outdoor OLY 88 Semi-Final

That semi-final start was unreal.

I watched BJ race live in San Jose, CA in 85 or 86 and it really did look like he was shot out of a cannon. He made the rest of the pack look like they were in slow motion. Carl was in the race and closed quite a bit but finished way behind Big Ben. Does anyone have that on tape/dvd, etc? The Meet was not shown on TV but the local News showed the race on TV that night.

Don’t have the San Jose race, but if anyone wants to see the olympic semi-final start, it is included in Michael Johnson’s “World’s Fastest Men” video, which is on google vids.

That was Ben’s proclivity. He just started how he started, got really strong, and was coached well. I began my track career with that type of start but I had to force myself to execute it where as with Ben, he just got out of the blocks as fast as he could.

Definitely read “Speedtrap” and “Running Risks”

Some good sections include:

Bob Hayes at 12:00.
Allan Wells at 13:00.
Jim Hines at 20:00.
Johnson’s 1988 Olympic Semi-Final “false start” at 24:15.
View of Lewis in training at 28:00.

Google video allows you to scroll to any single time section without having to wait for the full video to load - it will queue up that section.

Thank you for the link and the info.