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Ira Murchison

Full name: Ira James Murchison
Nickname(s): Sputnik
Gender: Male
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)
Born: February 6, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 18, 1994 in Harvey, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: UCTC, Chicago (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

After attending Iowa and Western Michigan, Ira Murchison joined the army and took both sprints at the 1956 army championships. In June 1956 he twice equalled the world 100 m record of 10.2 and then brought the record down to 10.1 in winning the International Military Championships in Berlin. At the 1956 Olympics he placed fourth in the 100 m, but then won a gold medal as the lead-off man on the world record breaking relay team. After his military service, Murchison returned to Western Michigan and finished second to Bobby Morrow in the 1957 NCAA 100y. Both men equalled the world record, but only Morrow had his time recognized by the IAAF. Murchison gained some consolation by winning the NCAA title in 1958. Standing only 5-5 (1.65), Murchison was one of the smallest ever world class sprinters and was ideally suited to indoor competition. He won the AAU indoor 60y in 1957 and twice equalled the world record that year. He was ranked as the leading indoor sprinter in 1957 and 1959. At the 1963 Pan American Games he won gold with the 4×100 metres relay team (with Earl Young, Ollan Cassell, and the non-Olympian Brooks Johnson) and bronze in the 100 metres.

Personal Bests: 100y – 9.3 (1957); 100 – 10.1 (1956); 200 – 21.1y (1958).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics Men's 100 metres United States USA 4
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay United States USA 1 Gold WR

Men's 100 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States Final 4 10.6 10.79 1
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 10.5 10.79
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States Quarter-Finals Heat Two 1 QU/=OR 10.3 10.55
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States Round One Heat One 1 QU 10.5 10.67

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) ST L
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States USA Final 1 WR 39.5 39.60 10,8 6
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States USA Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 40.3 40.34
1956 Summer 23 Melbourne Athletics United States USA Round One Heat One 1 QU 40.5 40.53