James Robinson

Olympic athlete

1954 –


Who is James Robinson?

James J. Robinson, Jr. is a former American middle distance runner. He was the dominant American 800 meters runner from the mid-1970s through the mid 1980s. He ran in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, finishing fifth in his semi-final and not making the final. He was on the ill fated 1980 U.S. Olympic team that did not get to compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott.

His international achievements included a silver medal at the 1979 IAAF World Cup and 1981 IAAF World Cup and a gold medal at the 1979 Pan American Games. He also finished fifth in the 1983 World Championships in Athletics. Domestically he won the American title at 880 yard or 800 meters 7 times including five times in a row between 1978 and 1982. During that same period while Robinson was the best outdoors, he did not win a single Indoor title. The answer to this was that Robinson's strategy didn't work on the short straightaways indoors.

Robinson's notable strategy was to come from behind, with the late rush on the home stretch always thrilling the crowd. When this strategy evaded him, it almost always looked like a mere strategic error, rather than being beaten by the competition.

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Aug 27, 1954
United States of America
  • United States of America

on July 23, 2013


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