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The 4 x 400 metres relay world record was anchored by Johnson.

In 1991 at the World Championships in Tokyo, Johnson earned his first world title by winning the 200 m race by the unusual margin of victory of 0.33 seconds over Frankie Fredericks. title in the 400 m, and followed it with world titles in both the 400 m and 4 × 400 m relay.

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Johnson is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200 metres and 400 metres events at the same Olympics, a feat he accomplished at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Nevertheless, he was able to race as a member of the 4 × 400 m relay team, which won a gold medal and set a new world record time of .74. At the end he made it a "triple" by adding another title in the 4 × 400 m relay.

(Two women have won Olympic gold medals in both races in the same year: Valerie Brisco-Hooks in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and Marie-José Pérec, in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.) Johnson entered the Olympic finals donning a custom-designed pair of golden-colored Nike racing spikes made with Zytel, causing him to be nicknamed "The Man With the Golden Shoes".

Sources differ on the exact weight of these shoes; the manufacturer of the spikes claims they weighed 3 ounces (85 g) each, On July 29, Johnson easily captured the 400 m Olympic title with an Olympic record time of 43.49 seconds, 0.92 seconds ahead of silver medalist Roger Black of Great Britain.

He also once held the world's best time in the 300 m.

Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field.

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