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  • Big Event

    This month's (January) "Big Event" is a world record which was set sixty years ago today south of the Equator.

    The athlete that set this mark won an Olympic gold medal before setting this world record and another two Olympic gold medals after setting this record.

    No hurdles were involved with this world record.

    You might know that the record this athlete beat was set north of the Equator.

    Our record setting athlete broke this "Big Event" world record about 34 months after setting the "Big Event" world record.

    Can you tell us which event is involved with our "Big Event" this month?

    Also, please name the athlete that set this record and the site of this record setting performance.

    Extra credit if you can give the actual mark for this record.

    Good luck and remember, no research.

  • #2
    Might be Peter Snell. Guessing: 800m. Again guessing: Auckland. I think he eventually ran 1.44.5, so this a little slower; entirely guessing: 1.44.9. Probably all wrong guesses, except perhaps for P.S.

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    • #3
      Haha, I checked it and it seems even P.S. was wrong.

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      • #4
        I will guess it is not Elliott, Halberg or Clarke either...too obvious.

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        • #5
          This is my day of erring. I think I erred even with respect to my erring...

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          • #6
            Peter Snell is the correct athlete. Good job on your first guess, Olli.

            The event was not the 800 nor was the site Auckland, New Zealand. I can tell you that this record was set in New Zealand 60 years ago today.

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            • #7
              Cook Gardens, Whanganui
              I listened live on the radio. No TV back then in NZ

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              • #8
                3:54.4 beating Elliot's record by 0.1.

                Broke the 800 / 880 a week later at Lancaster Park, Christchurch.

                I doubt many of today's top runners could run that fast on grass.
                Last edited by Tuariki; 01-27-2022, 07:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Good to see Tuariki get this one. Peter Snell ran 3:54.4 in Wanganui, New Zealand on this day in 1962. He ran 3:54.1 in Auckland, New Zealand on November 17, 1964 (just weeks after the Tokyo Olympics) to break his own world mark. Extra credit goes to Tuariki. Good on you.

                  Thank you, Tuariki, Olli, and SoCal45.

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                  • #10
                    Because of the Olympic golds I thought it might be Snell, but after checking 800m and 1500m WR progressions it appeared I had mistaken. My mistake was, however, that I had forgotten the exotic Anglosaxon distances.

                    One cannot beat Tuariki's detailed memory of the incident. I also have vivid radio listening memories, like Pekka Vasala's ER 1,44,5 in a Finland–Sweden international in 1972. I always thought Vasala might have emulated Snell's 800–1500 double in 1972, but he chose to play it "safe" and concentrate on one distance.

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                    • #11
                      Snell was by far the greatest sporting hero in New Zealand 1960.to 1965. Bigger than any All Black. He drew in crowds of 20 to 30,000 and because of him many of the world's fastest middle distance runners came to NZ every summer.

                      My memory of his races were at about 300m to go, step out to lane 2 and then take off. No one could go with him.

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                      • #12
                        That was Peter Snell. He did the same thing in the U.S. I remember seeing him run at the L.A. Coliseum and after the race, he walked by me on his way to the press section upstairs. I had never seen such large calf muscles on anyone. Pure power.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tuariki View Post
                          Snell was by far the greatest sporting hero in New Zealand 1960.to 1965. Bigger than any All Black. He drew in crowds of 20 to 30,000 and because of him many of the world's fastest middle distance runners came to NZ every summer.

                          My memory of his races were at about 300m to go, step out to lane 2 and then take off. No one could go with him.
                          Norman Harris's (?) write up about this race is one of the my all time favorite TF pieces. Another is Cordner Nelson's description of the Calhoun-Davis hurdles race in Melbourne, 1956.

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                          • #14
                            Speaking of Snell and a great finish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hrBBoV0ruo

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