Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

Racing Past - Articles - Major Games

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1952 Olympic Games
Major Games

1952 OLYMPIC GAMES HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 19-AUGUST 3   Performances were much better than in the previous Olympics. Recovery from the stresses and deprivations of the Second World War meant that runners were able to train harder and eat properly. Zatopek, with his triple crown, outshone al...

1950 European Championships
Major Games

1950 European Championships  Brussels, August 23-27   800 Boysen of Norway, who had run a fast 1:48.7, was the clear favorite.  Hansenne and Bengtsson were also highly favoured. The British were not expected to be in the medals, even by their own supporters. Bannister, who had jus...

1954 European Championships
Major Games

1954 European Championships Bern, Switzerland, August 25-29   Despite the modest location, Berne Neufeld Stadium, this meet produced some stellar performances, including three WRs and 16 meet records. As Track and Field News (7.8) said, “These Games were probably second only to th...

1956 Olympic Games
Major Games

OLYMPIC GAMES 1956      Melbourne, Australia, November 22-December 8   800 Courtney (153) passes Johnson with a supreme effort. The finalists lined up in gusty conditions, while the last bend was still being compacted by two large rollers. Fortunately,...

1958 European Championships
Major Games

1958 EUROPEAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS Stockholm, Sweden, August 19-24   800 Rawson (in 4th) is pushed offthe track. This was the race that favourite Brian Hewson wanted to run, but he was selected for the 1500 instead. His team-mates Derek Johnson and Mike Rawson thus bec...

1954 Empire Games
Major Games

1954 EMPIRE GAMES VANCOUVER, CANADA, July 30-August 7     These games were the most famous of all the Empire (and later, Commonwealth) Games. The intriguing four-minute mile barrier had been finally broken in 1954, first by Roger Bannister and then by John Landy.  Now these two mil...

1958 Empire Games
Major Games

EMPIRE GAMES   Cardiff, Wales, July 18-26, 1958.   On the new En Tout-Cas track in Cardiff, Australian and New Zealand runners dominated the distance events, winning all the races. Foremost was 20-year-old Elliott’s impressive 880-Mile double. But emerging longer distance runner D...

1962 Commonwealth Games
Major Games

1962 BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH GAMES   Perth, Western Australia November 22-December 1    880 This was a highlight race featuring two great rivals: Peter Snell of New Zealand and George Kerr of Jamaica.  Although Snell had won six out of their seven enco...

1962 European Championships
Major Games

1962 European Championships    Belgrade, Yugoslavia, September 12-16   800 Ranked third and second in the world in 1960 and 1961, Paul Schmidt (31) of Germany was the 800 favorite. And he had looked good in winning his semi-final. His compatriot Manfred Matuschewski ...

1960 Olympic Games
Major Games

1960 Olympic Games Rome, August 25-September 11   800  Roger Moens (30), a very experienced runner with a great competitive record, was the co-favorite with Paul Schmidt, who had been fastest over 800 in 1959 (1:46.2). George Kerr (22) of Jamaica, a talented newcomer, was also fancied....


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