100 Moments: Tyus Shatters World Records
Monday, August 6, 2012

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one of the fastest women in Tennessee State history. 

Wyomia Tyus is one of the most successful athletes to ever grace the track at TSU, winning three gold medals and one silver medal during her career.

Tyus also became the first Olympic athlete, male or female, to win back-to-back gold medals in the 100-meter dash.

In 1964, Tyus won her first 100-meter crown in Tokyo, Japan, running the event in an impressive 11.2 seconds during the preliminary rounds. The time tied the world record that fellow Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph had previously set. The gold medal race was also the first time that Tyus had ever beaten her teammate, Edith McGuire.

Tyus later teamed with McGuire and two others in the 4 x 100-meter relay in Tokyo to win a silver medal.

In preparation for the next Olympics, Tyus partook in the AAU Championship in 1965 and 1966. Tyus proved that she could still run like a World Champion, winning the 100-meter dash in each year and the 200-meter dash in 1966. Tyus also won the 60-meter dash in the Indoor competitions both years plus a third time in 1967.

Finally, Tyus got the chance to defend her title of 100-meter World Champion when she traveled to Mexico City for the 1968 Olympics. Tyus easily retained her title by running a world-record time of 11.08 seconds, a record that still stands today.

Tyus and company also got revenge in Mexico City, improving on the silver finish from last Olympics by winning gold.

Tyus is a member of the National Track Hall of Fame and the U.S. Track Hall of Fame in addition to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. 

Watch Tyus's record setting run from 1968 below:

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.