400 Meters In two of the most anticipated races of the Olympics, Michael Johnson and Cathy Freeman triumphed in the men's and women's 400 meters, fulfilling historic expectations. Freeman, the Australian who lit the Olympic cauldron, became the first Aboriginal athlete to win an individual medal. Johnson succeeded in defending his 400 meter title, the first male sprinter to do so. The win places him among the top runners in Olympic history. NPR's Howard Berkes reports.