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Tom Burke

From Academic Kids

Gold
medal
Athletics
Men's 100 metres
Gold
medal
Athletics
Men's 400 metres
The start of the 100 m final in Athens. Burke is second from the left.
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The start of the 100 m final in Athens. Burke is second from the left.

Thomas Edward Burke (January 15, 1875February 14, 1929) was an American athlete. He was the first Olympic champion in the 100 and 400 metres races.

Burke, a student at Boston University, was a reputed runner in the 400 metres and 440 yards, having won the AAU title (440 yards) in 1895. He had no such reputation for the first event he entered in the inaugural modern Olympic Games in Athens, 1896. With many top sprinters absent, Burke surprisingly won the 100 metres. He was also noted for his "crouch start", which was uncommon at that time but in standard use now. His time in both the heats and the final was 12.0 seconds.

At the same Olympics, Burke also won the 400 metres, his top event. His times for that event were 58.4 seconds in the preliminary heats and 54.2 seconds in the final, in both of which Burke finished first.

Later in his career, Burke specialised in the longer distances, winning IC4A titles in the 440 and 880 yards events. In 1897, he was one of the initators of the annually held Boston Marathon, inspired by the success of the marathon event at the 1896 Olympics.

Burke later became a lawyer, but was also a part-time sports journalist and athletics coach.

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 100 m
Tom Burke | Frank Jarvis | Archie Hahn | Reggie Walker | Ralph Craig | Charlie Paddock | Harold Abrahams | Percy Williams | Eddie Tolan | Jesse Owens | Harrison Dillard | Lindy Remigino | Bobby Joe Morrow | Armin Hary | Bob Hayes | Jim Hines | Valeri Borzov | Hasely Crawford | Allan Wells | Carl Lewis | Linford Christie | Donovan Bailey | Maurice Greene | Justin Gatlin
Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 400 m

Tom Burke | Maxey Long | Harry Hillman | Paul Pilgrim | Wyndham Halswelle | Charles Reidpath | Bevil Rudd | Eric Liddell | Ray Barbuti | Bill Carr | Archie Williams | Arthur Wint | George Rhoden | Charlie Jenkins | Otis Davis | Michael Larrabee | Lee Evans | Vincent Matthews | Alberto Juantorena | Viktor Markin | Alonzo Babers | Steve Lewis | Quincy Watts | Michael Johnson (twice) | Jeremy Wariner

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