John Landy, pursuer of Bannister’s 4-minute mile, dies at 91
John Landy, an Australian runner who dueled with Roger Bannister to be the primary individual to run a four-minute mile, has died. He was 91.
Landy’s household on Saturday stated the previous athlete, who additionally turned governor of Australia’s Victoria state, had died at his dwelling in Castlemaine after a protracted battle with Parkinson’s illness.
“Dad handed away peacefully on Thursday surrounded by what he cherished most: his household and the Australian bush,” Landy’s son Matthew Landy stated. “We are going to essentially miss him. He was not solely a beautiful husband, however a beautiful father and he lived a beautiful life.”
Landy took up aggressive operating to assist him get match to play Australian guidelines soccer, solely turning into critical about it after making a state monitor and area squad in 1951.
Later he was to make world headlines as he vied with Englishman Bannister to grow to be the primary man to run underneath 4 minutes for the mile.
Bannister was the primary to realize the feat, in a time of three minutes, 59.4 seconds at Oxford, England on May 6, 1954. Less than two months later, in Finland, Landy improved on Bannister’s world document when he ran the mile in 3:57.90.
Those two instances preceded the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver the place Landy and Bannister, the world’s two quickest milers, met face-to-face in a showdown billed because the Race of the Century. The Englishman received and shortly after retired to grow to be a neurologist.
At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Landy was the favourite to win the “metric mile,” the 1,500 meters. But it was within the lead-up to these Games that Landy earned his place in Australian sporting historical past.
Running within the Australian Mile Championship in 1956, Landy was in a robust place when fellow athlete Ron Clarke tripped and fell in entrance of him with a few lap and a half to go.
Landy leaped over Clarke after which turned again to assist his rival to his toes, a gesture that price him precious seconds and round 50 meters. After checking on Clarke, he started operating once more and circled the sphere to win the race that assured him a spot in Australia’s Olympic staff.
Landy by no means made a giant deal of the gesture, describing it as “that foolish race once I whizzed again to Ron Clarke.”
“I reacted on the spur of the second,” Landy instructed the Australian Associated Press. “I ran down his arm with my spikes once I was leaping over him. That’s why I went again. Lots of people appeared to suppose it was probably the most vital factor I ever did in operating. It wasn’t.”
Landy received bronze within the 1,500 on the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, ending third behind Ron Delany of Ireland and Klaus Richtzenhain of Germany.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe stated in a press release that Landy was one of many nice pioneers of the golden age of middle-distance operating within the Fifties.
“He lit the spark that led to the legendary chase for the four-minute mile between 1952 and 1954 and was one in every of principal protagonists in that quest,” stated Coe, the two-time 1,500-meter Olympic gold-medal winner. “Ultimately Roger Bannister received there first however was additionally the primary to acknowledge that Landy’s excellence impressed him to achieve that historic landmark.”
Landy went on to work within the area of agricultural science, a topic he studied at Melbourne University, and held numerous positions in sporting and neighborhood organizations.
In 2001 he turned governor of Victoria — representing the British royalty within the state — a submit he held for 5 years.
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates stated: “If Australia wanted a job mannequin, it’s John Landy.”
“His rivalry with Roger Bannister, because the pair closed on the sub four-minute mark for the mile, captured not solely Australia’s creativeness, however that of the world.”
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