Otis Davis-First Man To Break 45 Seconds In The 400 Meters



To celebrate Black History Month, The 400 Meters profiles Otis Davis, the first man under 45 seconds in the 400m.
Davis ran 44.90 and set the then World Record in the 400 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympics beating German Carl Kaufmann by a hair. Two days later, Davis anchored the 4x400m relay team to another world record time of 3:02.20.



Davis was born July 12, 1932 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He served four years in the Air Force before attending the University of Oregon on a basketball scholarship. After watching some runners work out, he approached Oregon Coach Bill Bowerman and asked to join the track team. Davis had never done any organized running before.  By 1960 Davis was competing on a national level and qualified for the US Olympic Team for the 1950 Rome Olympic Games. He was ranked in the top ten in the world three times during his career.



Davis was inducted into the USATF Hall of Fame in 2004.

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