John Landy, a legendary Australian middle-distance runner, has died at 91.
Landy on Thursday died at his house in Castlemaine, Victoria, surrounded by his household after a protracted battle with Parkinson’s illness.
He was the second man to interrupt the sub-four-minute mile, doing so a month after Englishman Sir Roger Bannister, and he was a two-time Olympian who received bronze within the males’s 1500m on the Melbourne Games of 1956.
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Landy additionally has ‘legendary’ standing within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
But maybe what he is most remembered for is a exceptional act of sportsmanship throughout the 1956 Australian mile championship, at Melbourne Olympic Park.
He was trailing Ron Clarke, who died in 2015 as a legend of Australian distance operating, early on the third of 4 laps.
Then Clarke fell.
Landy leapt over Clarke and caught him together with his spikes, slicing the proper aspect of his higher physique, and as soon as he regained his stability he scurried again to examine on his rival.
That was an unimaginable present of respect – after which got here an unimaginable present of athleticism.
Landy had given away a lead of about 40 metres, however he’d mow down his opponents to win the race.
Towering reward poured in for Landy’s act of sportsmanship, however the response of the person himself gave a glimpse into his nice humility.
In Len Johnson’s The Landy Era: From Nowhere to the Top of the World, Landy is quoted as describing what he did as “a much ballyhooed event”.
“I get quite embarrassed because it shouldn’t have happened,” Landy provides in Johnson’s e book.
“I didn’t contribute to it directly in the sense that I didn’t trip Ron Clarke up, but I should have been leading the race.”
That wasn’t a remark of vanity. By the time of the 1956 Australian mile championship, Landy had competed at one Olympics and was a sub-four-minute miler. More than 20,000 folks had additionally flocked to the observe within the hope of seeing Landy break the mile world document that he owned.
“Clarke fell out in front of me,” Landy is quoted in Johnson’s e book.
“It all happened pretty quickly and I had to get into long-jumping mode. My spikes tore down his shoulder and arm. He had a tetanus shot after the race. People thought I went back because he fell, but I spiked him pretty seriously in the arm. He yelled out. Instinctively I stopped.”
In 1999, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame deemed Landy’s act the nation’s best sporting second of the twentieth century.
It’s additionally been commemorated by a sculpture known as Sportsmanship, established at Melbourne Olympic Park in 2002.
Former Australian Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop is among the many many individuals to have paid tribute to Landy following his loss of life.
“R.I.P. to one of our greatest,” Troop wrote on Twitter.
Decorated Canadian triathlon coach Barrie Shepley wrote: “What an incredible life this iconic runner has lived”.
And sports activities broadcaster Glenn Mitchell posted: “An iconic athlete who holds a special place in Australia’s sporting history”.
Landy, Bannister and American Wes Santee spearheaded the pursuit of the primary sub-four-minute mile.
Bannister was the primary to crack the barrier in a run at Oxford University on May 6, 1954, though his 3:59.4 was helped by controversial pacing by countrymen Chris Chattaway and Chris Brasher.
When Landy achieved the feat within the Finnish metropolis of Turku on June 21, 1954, clocking 3:57.9 to grab the world document, he did not have the posh of pacing.
The circumstances through which Bannister achieved his historic sub-four-minute mile are nonetheless debated right now, however Landy wasn’t fazed by the help the Briton had.
“They went after it,” Landy is quoted in The Landy Era: From Nowhere to the Top of the World.
“They saw it as a British achievement. People thought I was going to be eating my heart out, but I thought if he can do that, the logic was that, since I’d been much more consistent, why wouldn’t I be able to do that?
“It wasn’t superb circumstances after they ran, however the level was (Bannister) did it and that obtained it out of the highway. He was the immortal, and I wasn’t.
“But that freed me up to run whatever I could. To some extent it was a relief. It didn’t have to worry because (it’d) been done.
“So, what’s subsequent?”
In an indication of the esteem Landy is held in, some of the others with ‘legendary’ status in the Sport Australia Hall of fame are Sir Donald Bradman, Herb Elliott, Cathy Freeman, Betty Cuthbert, Dawn Fraser, Ian Thorpe, Wally Lewis and Ron Barassi.
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