Ira Murchison

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Ira Murchison
Medal record
Men’s athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1956 Melbourne 4x100 m relay
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1963 São Paulo 4x100 m relay
Bronze medal – third place 1963 São Paulo 100 metres

Ira James Murchison (February 6, 1933 – March 28, 1994) was an American athlete, winner of the gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he attended Phillips High School. Murchison was noted for his exceptional speed from the starting block, which earned him a nickname Human Sputnik.

Before the Melbourne Olympics, Murchison equalled twice the 100 m world record of 10.2 and ran in Berlin a new world record of 10.1, thus becoming one of the favourites to win the 100 m Olympic gold medal. But at Melbourne, Murchison managed to finish only in a disappointing fourth place. He also ran the leadoff leg of the 4x100 m relay team for the United States, and helped the American team to a gold medal in a world record time of 39.5.

In 1957, Murchison repeated the 100 yd (91 m) world record of 9.3 and, as a Western Michigan University student, won the 1958 NCAA championships in 100 yd (91 m). At the 1963 Pan American Games, Murchison finished third in the 100 m and helped the American 4x100 m relay team to win a gold medal.

During the 1970s, Murchison was the coach of a women's track team in Chicago. One of the women he coached was 1976 Olympic sprinter, Rosalyn Bryant.

Ira Murchison died of cancer in Harvey, Illinois, aged 61.

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