Where are they now? Flying Scot Allan Wells

Allan Wells won the men's 100m final at the Olympic Games with a stirring run - but what has the flying Scot been doing since Moscow 1980?


Wells sets his gold standard

It was his mission to Moscow. He may have looked like a carthorse in comparison to Usain Bolt's world record time of 9.58 secs, but Allan Wipper Wells's golden moment in athletics has not been dulled by the passing of time.

With a number of nations opting out of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow due to the old Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan - most notably the USA - Wells, a lithe 28-year-old from Edinburgh, prospered by invading the winners' podium. Wells remains the last white man to win the 100m final and indeed is the last white man to reach the 100m final.

Wells remains part of an exclusive quartet as British winners of the blue-chip event of the Olympic Games. Reggie Walker, Harold Abrahams and Linford Christie are the other three.

A frantic dash for glory saw his chest and shoulders over the line before his opponent, Cuba’s Silvio Leonard, despite both men mustering identical times.

Interestingly enough, Wells went faster in the semi-finals, clocking a British record time of 10.11s, but trinkets not times are more important when a sportsman looks back upon his harvest years. As the story goes, a sportsperson can only beat what is put in front of him or her.

A silver medal in the 200m provided a silver lining, but Wells had already enjoyed his 10.25s of true fame. Victories over Linford Christie and Ben Johnson later in the 1980s suggest Wells was a world class sprinter in his era.

What has he done since?

Wells will celebrate his 60th birthday in May. He is rightly recognised as a sporting figure of some repute in the UK for his efforts. He continues to work as a specialist sprint coach while he was also a coach to the British bobsleigh team.

With an honorary degree from the University of Surrey, Wells has been inducted into the Scottish Sport Hall of Fame alongside Eric Liddell and Wyndham Halswelle.

Like Christie, Wells continues to be celebrated as a modern giant of the British sprint scene. He is likely to pop up over the next few years with London hosting the Olympic Games in this year and Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

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