KENNY Roman was synonymous with Cecil Blows during the 1960s. Blows an eight times 100 yards and later 100m sprint champion (combined) often locked horns with the up and coming youngster of Harold Cressy High in the sprints during sports isolation. Roman, as a schoolboy held several WP and SA sprint records recorded on cinder and gravel athletics tracks.
By the time Roman got to the Hewat Training College in Crawford, Cape Town, he was a celebrated sprint champion. During his sojourn at Hewat, aged 22, he clocked a world class time of 10,4 seconds in the 100m in 1969 at the Green Point Track in Cape Town. His performance in the 100m caused a sensation during the apartheid days then, and newspapermen and enthusiasts attempted to have Roman and the establishment’s Paul Nash pitted against each other in one 100m race in order to declare who was the faster; Roman, a coloured sprinter from Cape Town or Nash the white sprinter from Kwazulu-Natal? The race never took place because of South Africa’s segregated policies at the time and, as a nation, South Africa had been banned from sport internationally.
At the age of 21, Nash clocked 10.0 seconds in front of a capacity crowd in Krugersdorp in April 1968, equalling the hand-timed world record jointly held by German Armin Harry, Horacio Estevez of Venezuela and American Jim Hines.
In 1967, Nash competed against Jim Hines in Los Angeles, the 1968 Olympic 100m champion when he finished third in a hand-timed 10.4 with Hines in 10.2.
Roman played baseball for Maitland Giants. He had become their star pitcher. Roman and his family live in Australia.
Nash, the businessman, and his family live in South Africa.