Australian middle distance icon Landy dies at 91

Australian middle distance icon Landy dies at 91

John Landy, the Australian middle distance runner who became the second man to break the four-minute mile, has died at 91, prompting tributes from the athletics world.

Landy held world records for the 1,500 metres and the mile, and won Olympic bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Games.

His battle with Briton Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile, captivated global athletics in the 1950s.

Their showdown at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver came to be known as the “Miracle Mile”.

Bannister passed Landy late to win as they became the first two runners to break the four-minute mark in the same race.

“If Australia needed a role model, it is John Landy.

He was a pioneer – and his rivalry with Roger Bannister, as the pair closed on the sub four-minute mark for the mile, captured not only Australia’s imagination, but that of the world,” Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates said on Saturday.

World Athletics boss Sebastian Coe said the world was poorer without Landy in it.

“He was a charming, kind and decent man who just happened to be one of the great pioneers of the golden age of middle-distance running in the 1950s,” he said.

“He lit the spark that led to the legendary chase for the four-minute mile between 1952 and 1954 and was one of main protagonists in that quest.


 
Reuters
Australian middle distance icon Landy dies at 91

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