Former Olympic sprint champion Patton dies

AFP| Updated: May 16, 2014, 02:54 AM IST

California: Mel Patton, the 200m gold medallist at the 1948 Olympics, has died at the age of 89, the University of Southern California said.

A statement posted on the university`s website said Patton, who also won relay gold in the 1948 Games, died on May 9 in Fallbrook, California, near San Diego.

Patton won five national collegiate titles competing for USC and was the third athlete from the university to gain the title of "World`s Fastest Human" after Charles Paddock and Frank Wykoff.

Patton set world marks in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes, running a world best 9.3 seconds in the 100 yards in 1948 after equalling the mark of 9.4 in 1947.

He clocked 20.2 seconds in the 220 yards on a straightaway in 1949 to break Jesse Owens` world standard.

Nicknamed "Pell Mel", Patton was still a student at USC when he won 200m and 4x100m relay gold at the 1948 London Games, where he was fifth in the 100m.