Armin Hary (left) at the 1960 Olympics
|Born||22 March 1937 (age 81)
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||71 kg (157 lb)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||100 m: 10.0 (1960)
200 m: 20.5
400 m: 50.6
After playing football in his youth, Hary switched to sprinting at age 16. Only a few years later, in 1958, he won his first international title when he came first in the 100 m and the 4×100 m at the European Championships. He was also one of the first track stars to be affected by the rivalry between Adidas and Puma; each of the two then-fledgling companies wanted the "world's fastest man" to wear its shoes. Rumors of cash payments were floated, but no evidence was ever found to support the claim.
Also in 1958, Hary appeared to have run a new world record with a time of 10.0 seconds, but the track's slope of 11 centimetres (4.33 in) was found to exceed the maximum allowed 10 centimetres (3.94 in). In 1960 Hary set the world record, which was equaled 24 days later, but stood as a European record for eight years less one day.
That same year, at the Olympics, he achieved his greatest moment of fame. After a nerve-wracking number of near-starts, Hary sprinted to the gold in 10.2 seconds to become the first non-American winner of the event since Canadian Percy Williams.
In the final of the 4×100 m, Hary and his teammates appeared to have finished second behind the American team, but 15 minutes later the Americans had been disqualified for a faulty exchange. Germany's time, 39.5 seconds, equaled their own world record.
During his career Hary had multiple conflicts with the German Athletics Federation, which eventually suspended him. These conflicts and waning motivation to compete resulted in Hary's retirement from sport in the early 1960s.
In 1980 Hary was sentenced to 18 months in prison for abusing his real estate trader position and defrauding the Catholic Church of 3.2 million German marks. In 2000 he was selected as Germany’s Runner of the Millennium. In 2011 he was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Armin Hary.|
- Armin Hary. leichtathletik.de
- Knut Teske Armin Hary - ebenso groß wie verkannt. aha-f.de
- Armin Hary. sports-reference.com
- Athletics at the 1960 Roma Summer Games: Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay. sports-reference.com
|European Record Holder Men's 100m
21 June 1960 - 19 June 1968