Donovan Bailey - Hones Sprinting Skills
Hones Sprinting Skills
At one of his first major competitions, the 1991 Pan-American Games, Bailey made the finals. But he still had
to prove himself. Athletics Canada, his sport's governing body, overlooked him for the 1991 world championships and the 1992 Olympics. In 1993 he made the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany; to his disappointment, however, he was dropped from the relay race. While in Stuttgart, Bailey met Dan Pfaff, a track coach at Louisiana State University. Seeing promise in Bailey, Pfaff invited the sprinter to train with him in Baton Rouge.
In March 1994 he began intensively training with Pfaff, who corrected Bailey's running form and put him on a program of sprinting, lifting weights, and better diet. Pfaff also helped the Canadian sprinter improve his attitude, which had soured after his disappointments. After three months, Bailey had pared his 100-meter sprinting time from 10.36 to 10.03 seconds. These three-tenths of a second had made a world of difference, putting Bailey into an elite class of sprinters.
Bailey had captured the attention of the track world, but still had work to do. Improving his starting techniques, he managed to trim his sprinting time by tenths and hundredths of seconds. By spring of 1995 he was running under 10 seconds, at 9.99, and by June had clocked 9.91, a Canadian record. At the world championships in Goteborg, Sweden, he captured the title with a winning time of 9.97, clinching the title of "world's fastest man."