Shawn Crawford (born January 14, 1978) is an American sprint athlete from the United States. He competes over in the 100 meters and 200 meters events. He won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 200 m.
In a successful 2001 Crawford started the year with a victory at the Indoor World Championships in the 200 m. He then went to the World Athletics Championships where he tied with Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis for the 200 m. bronze medal. He then travelled to the Goodwill Games where he claimed his second gold medal of the year.
The next two years of Crawford's career were most memorable for his outrageous antics and lack of focus. At a 2002 meet in Milan, he put on a Phantom of the Opera mask just prior to the beginning of his 200 m race. The mask became dislodged during the race obstructing his vision and causing him to run out of his lane and be disqualified. He claimed to have tested the mask in advance by sticking his head out of a car window while wearing it.
In January 2003, Crawford starred in an episode of the FOX TV show Man vs. Beast in which he raced a zebra and a giraffe in the 100 m on dirt. In the first race he easily bested the giraffe (which was separated from him by a metal fence and may have been a bit disoriented). The zebra race was very close with the zebra slowly pulling ahead for victory. Accusing the zebra of a false start, he re-raced the zebra getting out of the blocks first and taking a lead. This caused the zebra to speed up, finishing in 9.90 s to Crawford's 10.80 s time. Later he boasted to ESPN the Magazine, "tell the zebra I coulda whooped him." According to the USATF website Crawford refers to himself as "Cheetah Man." He has publicly expressed his desire to run in war paint and urges spectators to look out for him at every meet.
After the relatively unsuccessful and unfocused 2002 and 2003 Crawford burst back in March of 2004 where he was fancied for the 60 m. world indoor title. Unfortunately he came up against an inform Jason Gardener from Great Britain who edged him into the silver medal position by just three hundredths of a second.
In the trials for the 2004 Summer Olympics Crawford gained his place in the team by claiming third in the 100 m. with a personal best of 9.93 s. behind winner Maurice Greene and second placed Justin Gatlin but bettered that seven days later with first place in the 200 m. with a time of 19.99 s. this time pushing Gatlin into second with Bernard Williams taking third. In June Crawford improved on his 100 m personal best when running 9.88 s in Eugene, Oregon, to leave him as a real medal contender for the Athens Games.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Crawford ran the 100 m final in 9.89 s finishing in fourth place just 0.04 s behind first place finisher, Justin Gatlin, his friend and training partner. That was the first race in history with four competitors under 9.90 s. Crawford went on to win the gold medal in the 200 m in 19.79 s. Later, he claimed a silver as part of the US 4x100 m relay team.
He qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 200 m dash, finishing second at the trials after failing to qualify in the 100 m. He originally finished fourth in the 200 m final but was later promoted to 2nd, winning silver, after fellow countryman Wallace Spearmon and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles were both disqualified for lane infringements.
|February 28, 2004||60 meters||Boston, Massachussetts, United States||6.47|
|June 19, 2004||100 meters||Eugene, Oregon, United States||9.88|
|August 26, 2004||200 meters||Athens, Greece||19.79|