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Shawn Crawford

Shawn Crawford
20090818 Shawn Crawford.jpg
Shawn Crawford during the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin
Personal information
Born (1978-01-14) January 14, 1978 (age 43)
Van Wyck, South Carolina, U.S.
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg)
Event(s)100 metres, 200 metres
College teamClemson
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100m: 9.88
200m: 19.79

Shawn Crawford (born January 14, 1978) is a retired American sprint athlete. He competed in the 100 meters and 200 meters events. He won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 200 meters. He originally finished 4th in the race but after the 2nd and 3rd-place winners were disqualified, he moved up to a silver. On April 17, 2013, Crawford was suspended for two years for missing out-of-competition drug tests.[1] His coach, Bob Kersee claimed that Crawford retired after the 2012 United States Olympic Trials and USA Track & Field said he filed retirement papers in 2013.[2]


Crawford was born in Van Wyck, South Carolina. He attended Indian Land High School before leaving for Clemson University, where he claimed 11 All-America honors and three National Championships.

In a successful 2001 Crawford started the year with a victory at the Indoor World Championships in the 200 m. He then went to the World Athletics Championships, where he tied with Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis for the 200 m bronze medal. He then travelled to the Goodwill Games, where he claimed his second gold medal of the year.

The next two years of Crawford's career were most memorable for his outrageous antics and lack of focus. At a 2002 meet in Milan, he put on a Phantom of the Opera mask just prior to the beginning of his 200 m race. The mask became dislodged during the race obstructing his vision and causing him to run out of his lane and be disqualified.[3] He claimed to have tested the mask in advance by sticking his head out of a car window while wearing it.

In January 2003, Crawford starred in an episode of the Fox TV show Man vs. Beast in which he raced a zebra and a giraffe over 100 m on dirt. In the first race he easily bested the giraffe (which was separated from him by a metal fence and may have been a bit disoriented). The zebra race was very close with the zebra slowly pulling ahead for victory. Accusing the zebra of a false start, he re-raced the zebra getting out of the blocks first and taking a lead. This caused the zebra to speed up, finishing in 9.957s to Crawford's 10.86s time. Later he boasted to ESPN the Magazine, "tell the zebra I coulda whooped him."[3] According to the USATF website Crawford refers to himself as "Cheetah Man." He has publicly expressed his desire to run in war paint and urges spectators to look out for him at every meet.

After the relatively unsuccessful and unfocused 2002 and 2003 Crawford burst back in March 2004, where he was fancied for the 60 meters world indoor title. However, he came up against an in-form Jason Gardener from Great Britain, who edged him into the silver medal position by three hundredths of a second.

In the trials for the 2004 Summer Olympics Crawford gained his place in the team by claiming third in the 100 m with a personal best of 9.93s behind winner Maurice Greene and second placed Justin Gatlin, but bettered that seven days later with first place in the 200 m with a time of 19.99s, this time pushing Gatlin into second with Bernard Williams taking third. In June Crawford improved on his 100 m personal best when running 9.88s in Eugene, Oregon, to leave him as a real medal contender for the Athens Games.

Shawn Crawford (left) and Walter Dix (right) at the 2008 Olympics 200 m final

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Crawford ran the 100 m final in 9.89s, finishing in fourth place just 0.04s behind first-place finisher, Justin Gatlin, his friend and training partner. That was the first race in history with four competitors under 9.90s. Crawford went on to win the gold medal in the 200 m in 19.79s. Later, he claimed a silver as part of the US 4 × 100 m relay team.

He qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 200 m dash, finishing second at the trials after failing to qualify in the 100 m. He originally finished fourth in the 200 m final, but was later promoted to 2nd, winning silver, after fellow countryman Wallace Spearmon and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles were both disqualified for lane infringements. Originally following the race, Spearmon was disqualified. The United States was ready to file a protest, but first carefully watched video of the race—discovering an additional infraction by Martina. Instead of wasting a protest on Spearmon's behalf, they protested Martina, netting the USA two medalists, Crawford for the silver and Walter Dix the bronze. Crawford gave his medal to Martina on August 28, 2008 in a tremendous show of sportsmanship.[4] On March 6, 2009, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an appeal by the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands Antilles against Martina's disqualification.[5]

Crawford won the 200 m at the 2009 US Championships, and qualified to represent the United States at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. He ran 19.89s in the final of the competition, his best of the season. However, he was pipped to the bronze medal by Spearmon, and was some distance behind winner Usain Bolt, who set a new world record of 19.19s.


As of 5 July 2009

On 12 April 2002, Crawford became the first man to break ten seconds for the 100 metres for the first time and twenty seconds for the 200 metres for the first time, both on the same day, a feat he achieved in Pretoria, South Africa.[6]

Personal bests

Event Time (seconds) Date Venue
60 meters 6.47 February 28, 2004 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
100 meters 9.88 June 19, 2004 Eugene, Oregon, United States
200 meters 19.79 August 26, 2004 Athens, Greece
300 meters 32.47 June 7, 2009 Eugene, Oregon, United States
  • All information from IAAF Profile[7]

Major achievements


  1. ^ "Shawn Crawford banned for two years for missing doping tests". 19 April 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2020 – via
  2. ^ "Sprinter Shawn Crawford suspended 2 years for 'whereabouts failures;' coach says he's retired". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Crawford's the happiest, fastest guy out of the medals in the 100". Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  4. ^ "Crawford confirms he gave Olympic medal to Martina". AP. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  5. ^ Martina's bid to reclaim silver rejected,, March 6, 2009.
  6. ^ The ‘Cheetah man’ retains sub-19 goal. IAAF (2004-10-27). Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  7. ^ "Crawford, Shawn biography". Retrieved 2008-09-08.

External links

Preceded by
Joshua J. Johnson
Men's 200 m Best Year Performance
alongside Greece Konstadinos Kederis

Succeeded by
Bernard Williams
Preceded by
Bernard Williams
Men's 200 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Wallace Spearmon

This page was last updated at 2021-03-29 16:07 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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