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Renaldo Nehemiah

Photo of Renaldo Nehemiah

Inducted: 1997, athlete

Born: March 24, 1959 - Newark, New Jersey

110 m hurdles - 12.93

During the period from 1978 until he turned to pro football in 1981, Renaldo Nehemiah was the greatest high hurdler on the planet. He was the world record holder, the first athlete to run the high hurdles in under 13 seconds, and probably would have been the 1980 Olympic champion if the U.S. had not boycotted those games. He was the world's top-ranked high hurdler four straight years, from 1978 through 1981. In 1977, as a high-school senior, Nehemiah was the national junior champion. At the University of Maryland, he won three NCAA titles, one outdoors and two indoors. He also won four national championships, including three outdoors. In 1979, he twice broke the world record, with times of 13.16 and 13.0 -- an improvement of more than 0.2 over the former record set by Alejandro Casanas of Cuba. That same year, he won the Pan-American Games title and the World Cup. Two years later, in Zurich, he again set the world record, cracking the 13-second barrier with a time of 12.93. During his tenure at Maryland, he also excelled as a relay runner on the 4x200m and 4x400m teams. Nehemiah played for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League from 1982 to 1985. He returned to track in 1986, achieving world rankings four more times from 1988 to 1991. He was named to the U.S. team for the 1991 World Championships, but an injury kept him from competing.

Records Held
World Record: 110 m hurdles - 12.93 (August 19, 1981 - )

1979 World Cup: 110 m hurdles (1st)
1977 USA Junior Outdoors: 110 m hurdles (1st)
1979 Pan-Am Games: 110 m hurdles (1st)

undergraduate: Maryland (College Park, Maryland), 1981

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