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Johnson breaks 10s barrier

By Tom Wald 08/02/2003 09:29:02 PM Comments (0)

Sprinter Patrick Johnson has become the first Australian runner to officially break the magical 10-second barrier albeit being wind assisted at an A-series meet in Perth.

The north Queensland-raised Johnson thrived in temperatures in the high 30s at Perry Lakes Stadium recording a time of 9.88 seconds with an illegal tail wind of 3.6 metres at his back.

It followed the Australian Institute of Sport athlete's 9.90s run with a sea breeze of 5.7 m/s behind him in a 100m heat earlier in the day.

The 30-year-old Johnson was a late starter to athletics, having only been discovered in 1996 at the university games in Canberra.

But Johnson declared after the final he was now ready to compete with the best in the world following his two ground breaking runs.

"I have always had the top speed but my technique has always been my downfall given my inexperience," he said.

"I started in 1997 so I am still learning, but now I am improving in leaps and bounds."

However Johnson said he now wanted to record a legal sub-10 time before the August world championships in Paris.

"It's great but I want to get it legal and the next couple of races, probably Melbourne will be the big one," he said.

"I think we have great talent here in Australia and hopefully we can now step up in the sprints, and know that it is possible to run that fast, it is just a mindset, we can run against the best."

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