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Gail Devers: Wyomia Tyus was my inspiration and the rationale I achieved my back-to-back Olympic 100m success | Olympics Information

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Gail Devers was the second lady to win back-to-back 100m gold medals after it was first achieved by Wyomia Tyus; Devers says Tyus is her “unsung hero” and the rationale she was impressed to defend her 100m title in 1996

Final Up to date: 22/07/21 6:54pm



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Three-time Olympic champion Gail Devers pays tribute to considered one of historical past’s best Olympians Wyomia Tyus

Three-time Olympic champion Gail Devers pays tribute to considered one of historical past’s best Olympians Wyomia Tyus

Three-time Olympic champion Gail Devers has paid tribute to considered one of historical past’s best Olympians Wyomia Tyus, calling Tyus her “unsung hero”.

Forward of this yr’s video games, Sky Sports activities told the story of Tyus, the world’s first back-to-back Olympic 100m champion.

The forgotten story of one of history’s greatest Olympians – and a pioneer of protest in sport

Wyomia Tyus is the first back-to-back Olympic 100m champion. So why has history forgotten her story?

American athlete Devers turned the second lady to attain that document when she gained gold in Atlanta in 1996, and 25 years later, she spoke to Sky Sports activities about Tyus’s influence on her success.

She mentioned: “[Tyus] is my unsung hero and her title is at all times in my mouth!

“I am unable to discuss my accomplishments with out speaking about hers as a result of she was the one who impressed me to exit and do it.”

‘Tyus is the rationale I bought that second medal’

Devers is a five-time world champion (100m, 100m hurdles (3) and 4x100m relay) however the crowning achievement was becoming a member of Tyus by securing back-to-back Olympic 100m golds in 1992 and 1996.

Devers won her first Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992

Devers gained her first Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992

Just one lady has added her title to that unique listing since – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – whereas Carl Lewis (1988) and Usain Bolt (2012) are the one male athletes who could make that declare. Bolt turned the one sprinter to complete high of the rostrum 3 times when he gained in Rio in 2016.

Devers mentioned Tyus’s affect at a gathering in 1993 spurred her on to achieve that second medal in Atlanta.

She advised Sky Sports activities: “I used to be conscious [of the record] as a result of I had gone to an occasion in 1993 sitting there speaking to Wyomia simply teasing saying: ‘I will have my title within the document books subsequent to yours’.

“She mentioned: ‘you must, that may be a nice accomplishment’.

“And I went house placed on my sticky word that that is is a purpose of mine and I labored to attain that purpose.

“I at all times inform the story that she was the rationale why – I used to be like okay, I am going to do that.

“Not simply her doing it and being as nice as she was – she equalled or broke the world document 4 occasions in her profession. Folks do not know that.

“She wasn’t thought of [a contender] for the 1964 Olympic video games, they simply mentioned ‘exit, you are working effectively, possibly you may win a medal.’

“However she had that confidence in her that ‘no, I am not profitable a medal, I will win the medal. I will win this Video games, no person goes to beat me in 64 or in 68′.

“I believe simply understanding the kind of particular person she was, the power she had, she did not care what different individuals thought, what you imagine.

“It was what she believed in herself and what she was keen to work for – that is what makes the distinction. And I attempted to be the identical manner.”

‘You need to know your historical past’

In Tyus’s interview, she mentioned: “They cannot discuss historical past except they converse my title.”

Tyus revealed that when Lewis gained his second males’s gold in 1988, the commentator claimed it was the primary time an athlete had gained the 100m at consecutive Olympics Video games.

Tyus moments after winning her second 100m gold in 1968 in Mexico City

Tyus moments after profitable her second 100m gold in 1968 in Mexico Metropolis

And simply as Tyus careworn the significance of understanding the info about feminine athletes and their success, Devers mentioned extra information must be shared concerning the historical past of girls – significantly Black girls – in sport.

“I am extra upset after I hear that individuals do not know their historical past [than receiving personal recognition], “Devers mentioned.

“Not understanding their historical past means they do not know who Wyomia Tyus is. How will you converse concerning the sprints and the 100m?

“I’m going again to my historical past understanding that the primary gold medal was by Betty Robinson in 1928 from the USA so it’s a must to know your historical past.

“And I proudly stand on the shoulders of those that got here earlier than me understanding all they needed to undergo within the 60s coping with the racial points and all of the issues that they needed to do to permit for me to turn into what I’m and for individuals to even know who I’m.

“Like [Tyus said], they did not discuss girls in sports activities and positively didn’t discuss Black girls in sports activities and what they did was insignificant.

“However it isn’t. That is what makes us what we’re.”

You’ll be able to watch Devers’ full interview on Sky Sports activities Information by clicking the video on the high of the web page.

Click here to watch Sky Sports’ exclusive interview with Wyomia Tyus.





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