Watch: USA’s Track and Field Legend’s Iconic “Photo Finish” Moment To Clinch 1992 Olympics Title

Published 03/20/2024, 1:22 AM EDT

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For track and field runners, a difference of 1 second can become the deciding factor between a medal and a close loss. When it comes to the Olympics, pushing the boundaries and achieving top speed is usually on top of the priority list for every sprinter. However, sometimes, things can still get intense with all participants eyeing to edge past their opponents at a blazing pace, and that’s exactly what happened at Barcelona ’92.

The women’s 100m sprint is among the most electrifying events in the Olympics and for good reasons. With momentum that can set the tracks on fire, the short course sprint can offer some of the most nail-biting moments. And for the thrill junkies, few races can top the sensational amount of competitiveness from the 1992 Games.

A breathtaking moment from the ’92 Olympics


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In a recent social media post by the official Olympic Games Twitter account, the enthralling event from three decades ago has resurfaced. “The ultimate photo finish!“, reads the caption of the post, while the accompanying video depicts exactly what made it so iconic. The race was even more under the spotlight with the USA’s very own Gail Devers being among the sprinters, and the 1987 Pan American Games gold medalist didn’t disappoint. Keeping her momentum from the Barcelona Olympics, in 1992, Devers crossed the finishing line in 10.82 to win the gold, but she didn’t get a hall pass by any means.

Just 0.06 seconds separated the top five in the Barcelona 1992 women’s 100m final!“, notes the post, underscoring just how intense the race was. The 1991 World Championships gold winner Juliet Cuthbert of Jamaica came in a close second to clinch silver with 10.83 seconds on the clock, and the bronze went to Russia’s Irina Privalova, thanks to her 10.84 finish.


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While the three podium finishers undoubtedly went all in to the 1992 Olympics women’s 100m finals, the successive two finishers weren’t too shabby either. The USA’s Gwen Torrence (10.86) and Jamaican Merlene Ottey (10.88) finished the race in fourth and fifth position respectively, making the entire dash one for the history books. While Dever’s run didn’t break any existing records at the event, her confidence seemed to have received an extra boost that saw her having many more triumphs on the tracks in the years to come.


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A jolt to the engines made Devers soar higher

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Gail returned to the women’s 100m event to win her second Olympic gold, and she didn’t stop there either. Joined by Torrence, Chryste Gaines, and Inger Miller, Gail won another gold at the ’96 Games for Team USA in the women’s 4x100m relay race. Not only that, thanks to her ’92 Olympics kickstart to the system, Devers went on to win five gold medals at the World Championships in 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999. She also clinched several golds at the World Indoor Championships well into the next decade.

Read more: Watch: Explosive Video of Track and Field Athlete’s Violent Altercation During 2011 Diamond League


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With the 2024 Paris Olympics only five months away, it waits to be seen if the fans are treated to another sweaty race this time as well. Team USA has several names who can win the gold for the country, including national sensations like Sha’Carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas. On the other hand, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is also making waves with promises of ending her Olympics career with a bang. Who do you think will come out on top of the big rumble in Europe later this year? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Read more: Road to Paris 2024: USA’s Track Star Dominates Sound Running 10k To Secure Olympic Trials Spot


Written by:

Diptarko Paul


One take at a time

Diptarko Paul is a senior Olympic Sports Correspondent at EssentiallySports. This state-level swimmer decided to dive deep into the world of Olympics. From writing various aspects of swimming to diving deep in the world of NCAA division 1 Volleyball, Diptarko covers it all.
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Edited by:

Bhujaya Ray Chowdhury