Athletics at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

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A sculpture of Bannister and Landy was placed outside of the Empire Stadium to commemorate the Miracle Mile. Bannister and Landy.jpg
A sculpture of Bannister and Landy was placed outside of the Empire Stadium to commemorate the Miracle Mile.

At the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games , the athletics events were held at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in July and August 1954. A total of 29 athletics events were contested at the Games, 20 by men and 9 by women. A total of twenty-four Games records were set or improved over the competition, leaving just five previous best marks untouched. The 1954 edition saw the introduction of the shot put and discus throw for women, as well as the first 4×110 yards relay for women (which replaced a medley relay). [1]

1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 5th edition of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games

The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 30 July to 7 August 1954. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952.

Empire Stadium (Vancouver)

Empire Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium that stood at the Pacific National Exhibition site at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Track and field and Canadian football, as well as soccer and musical events, were held at the stadium. The stadium was originally constructed for the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The stadium hosted both Elvis Presley and The Beatles. It saw most of its use as the home of the BC Lions of the CFL from 1954 to 1982, in which the venue also played host to the first Grey Cup game held west of Ontario in 1955. Empire Stadium also hosted the Grey Cup game in 1958, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1971, and 1974; seven times in total.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Roughly 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city.

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The men's mile run competition – dubbed The Miracle Mile – represented a landmark in the history of the Four-minute mile. Roger Bannister had been the first to have broken the barrier earlier that year, but Landy followed soon after with sub-4 minute (and world record time) of his own. The games offered the first time that two sub-4 minute runners had duelled against each other. Landy led until the final curve, at which point he turned to gauge Bannister's position. Bannister took the opportunity to overtake him on his blind side and he edged out a victory over Landy with a time of 3:58.8 minutes. Landy also ran under four minutes, representing the first time two men had done so in the same race. [2] A sculpture of the race-deciding moment was later placed outside the stadium in memory of the duel.

Mile run common middle-distance running event

The mile run is a middle-distance foot race.

Four-minute mile

In the sport of athletics, a four-minute mile means completing a mile run in less than four minutes. It was first achieved in 1954 by Roger Bannister in 3:59.4. The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners. In the 64 years since, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13. Running a mile in four minutes translates to a speed of 15 miles per hour. It also equals 22 feet per second.

Roger Bannister British athlete famed for running first sub-4-minute mile

Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was a British middle-distance athlete and neurologist who ran the first sub-4-minute mile.

Jim Peters, then the world record holder in the marathon, entered the stadium some seventeen minutes ahead of his nearest rival in the Games marathon. He collapsed in his final lap of the stadium, however, and did not finish the race (which was won by Joe McGhee). [3]

James Henry "Jim" Peters was a long-distance runner from England. He broke the world record for the men's marathon four times in the 1950s. He was the first runner to complete a marathon under 2 hours 20 minutes – an achievement which was equated to the breaking of the four-minute mile. He achieved this at the Polytechnic Marathon of 1953, a point-to-point race from Windsor to Chiswick, West-London.

Marathon long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres

The marathon is a long-distance race, completed by running, walking, or a run/walk strategy. There are also wheelchair divisions. The marathon has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres, usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory.

Joseph McGhee was a Scottish marathon runner, who won a gold medal at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada.

A new Commonwealth record for the high jump was established at the games by Emmanuel Ifeajuna of Nigeria, who became the first Commonwealth athlete to clear six feet and nine inches. [4] Ifeajuna was also the first black African to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. [5]

Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna was a Nigerian army major and high jumper who played a principal role in the January 15, 1966 military coup. He was the first Black African to win a gold medal at an international sports event when he won at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. His winning mark and personal best of 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) was a games record and a British Empire record at the time.

Medal summary

Men

EventGoldSilverBronze
100 yardsFlag of Trinidad and Tobago (1889-1958).svg  Mike Agostini  (TRI)9.6 GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Don McFarlane  (CAN)9.7Flag of Australia.svg  Hector Hogan  (AUS)9.7
220 yardsFlag of New Zealand.svg  Don Jowett  (NZL)21.5Flag of England.svg  Brian Shenton  (ENG)21.5Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Ken Jones  (WAL)21.9
440 yardsFlag of Australia.svg  Kevan Gosper  (AUS)47.2 GR Flag of New Zealand.svg  Don Jowett  (NZL)47.4Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Terry Tobacco  (CAN)47.8
880 yardsFlag of England.svg  Derek Johnson  (ENG)1:50.7 GR Flag of England.svg  Brian Hewson  (ENG)1:51.2Flag of England.svg  Ian Boyd  (ENG)1:51.9
1 mileFlag of England.svg  Roger Bannister  (ENG)3:58.8 GR Flag of Australia.svg  John Landy  (AUS)3:59.6Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Rich Ferguson  (CAN)4:04.6
3 milesFlag of England.svg  Chris Chataway  (ENG)13:35.2 GR Flag of England.svg  Fred Green  (ENG)13:37.2Flag of England.svg  Frank Sando  (ENG)13:37.4
6 milesFlag of England.svg  Peter Driver  (ENG)29:09.4 GR Flag of England.svg  Frank Sando  (ENG)29:10.0Flag of England.svg  Jim Peters  (ENG)29:20.0
MarathonFlag of Scotland.svg  Joe McGhee  (SCO)2:39:36Flag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Jack Mekler  (SAF)2:40:57Flag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Johannes Barnard  (SAF)2:51:50
120 yards hurdlesFlag of Jamaica (1906-1957).svg  Keith Gardner  (JAM)14.2 GR Flag of England.svg  Chris Higham  (ENG)14.9Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Norman Williams  (CAN)14.9
440 yards hurdlesFlag of Australia.svg  David Lean  (AUS)52.4 GR Flag of England.svg  Harry Kane  (ENG)53.3Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Bob Shaw  (WAL)53.3
High jumpFlag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Emmanuel Ifeajuna  (NGR)2.03 m GR Flag of the Uganda Protectorate.svg  Patrick Etolu  (UGA)1.99 m NR Flag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Nafiu Osagie  (NGR)1.99 m
Pole vaultFlag of England.svg  Geoff Elliott  (ENG)4.26 m GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Ron Miller  (CAN)4.20 mFlag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Andries Burger  (SAF)4.13 m
Long jumpFlag of England.svg  Ken Wilmshurst  (ENG)7.54 m GR Flag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Karim Olowu  (NGR)7.39 mFlag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Sylvanus Williams  (NGR)7.22 m
Triple jumpFlag of England.svg  Ken Wilmshurst  (ENG)15.28 mFlag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Peter Esiri  (NGR)15.25 mFlag of Australia.svg  Brian Oliver  (AUS)15.14 m
Shot putFlag of England.svg  John Savidge  (ENG)16.77 m GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  John Pavelich  (CAN)14.95 mFlag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Stephanus du Plessis  (SAF)14.93 m
Discus throwFlag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Stephanus du Plessis  (SAF)51.70 m GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Roy Pella  (CAN)49.53 mFlag of England.svg  Mark Pharaoh  (ENG)47.84 m
Hammer throwFlag of Pakistan.svg  Muhammad Iqbal  (PAK)55.37 m GR Flag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Jakobus Dreyer  (SAF)54.75 mFlag of Scotland.svg  Ewan Douglas  (SCO)52.81 m
Javelin throwFlag of Australia.svg  James Achurch  (AUS)68.52 m GR Flag of Pakistan.svg  Muhammad Nawaz  (PAK)68.09 mFlag of Pakistan.svg  Jalal Khan  (PAK)67.50 m
4×110 yards relayCanadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada  (CAN)
Don Stonehouse
Bruce Springbett
Harry Nelson
Don McFarlane
41.3 GR Flag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Nigeria  (NGR)
Abdul Karim Amu
Edward Ajado
Karim Olowu
Muslim Arogundade
41.3Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)
Brian Oliver
David Lean
Hector Hogan
Kevan Gosper
41.7
4×440 yards relayFlag of England.svg  England  (ENG)
Alan Dick
Derek Johnson
Peter Higgins
Peter Fryer
3:11.2 GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada  (CAN)
Terry Tobacco
Douglas Clement
Joe Foreman
Laird Sloan
3:11.6Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)
Brian Oliver
David Lean
Don MacMillan
Kevan Gosper
3:16.0

Women

EventGoldSilverBronze
100 yardsFlag of Australia.svg  Marjorie Jackson-Nelson  (AUS)10.7wFlag of Australia.svg  Winsome Cripps  (AUS)10.8wFlag of Northern Rhodesia (1939-1964).svg  Edna Maskell  (NRH)10.8w
220 yardsFlag of Australia.svg  Marjorie Jackson-Nelson  (AUS)24.0 GR Flag of Australia.svg  Winsome Cripps  (AUS)24.5Flag of England.svg  Shirley Hampton  (ENG)25.0
80 metres hurdlesFlag of Northern Rhodesia (1939-1964).svg  Edna Maskell  (NRH)10.9wCanadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Gwen Hobbins  (CAN)11.2wFlag of England.svg  Jean Desforges  (ENG)11.2w
High jumpUlster Banner.svg  Thelma Hopkins  (NIR)1.67 m GR Flag of England.svg  Dorothy Tyler  (ENG)1.60 mCanadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Alice Whitty  (CAN)1.60 m
Long jumpFlag of New Zealand.svg  Yvette Williams  (NZL)6.08 m GR Ulster Banner.svg  Thelma Hopkins  (NIR)5.84 mFlag of England.svg  Jean Desforges  (ENG)5.84 m
Shot putFlag of New Zealand.svg  Yvette Williams  (NZL)13.96 m GR Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Jackie MacDonald  (CAN)12.98 mFlag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Magdalena Swanepoel  (SAF)12.81 m
Discus throwFlag of New Zealand.svg  Yvette Williams  (NZL)45.01 m GR Flag of England.svg  Suzanne Allday  (ENG)40.02 mCanadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Marie Depree  (CAN)38.66 m
Javelin throwFlag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  Magdalena Swanepoel  (SAF)43.83 m GR Flag of Northern Rhodesia (1939-1964).svg  Pearl Fisher  (NRH)41.97 mCanadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Shirley Couzens  (CAN)38.98 m
4×110 yards relayFlag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)
Gwen Wallace
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson
Nancy Fogarty
Winsome Cripps
46.8 GR Flag of England.svg  England  (ENG)
Anne Pashley
Heather Young
Shirley Burgess
Shirley Hampton
46.9Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada  (CAN)
Annabelle Murray
Dorothy Kozak
Geraldine Bemister
Margery Squires
47.8

Medal table

Roger Bannister's win in the mile was a highlight of his career and of Commonwealth Games history. Roger Bannister 2.jpg
Roger Bannister's win in the mile was a highlight of his career and of Commonwealth Games history.
Triple sprint gold medallist Marjorie Nelson later became Governor of South Australia. Marjorie Jackson.jpg
Triple sprint gold medallist Marjorie Nelson later became Governor of South Australia.

  *   Host nation (Canada)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of England.svg  England  (ENG)99725
2Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)63413
3Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand  (NZL)4105
4Flag of South Africa (1928-1982).svg  South Africa  (SAF)2248
5Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada  (CAN)*17715
6Flag of Nigeria (1914-1952).svg  Nigeria  (NGR)1326
7Flag of Northern Rhodesia (1939-1964).svg  Northern Rhodesia  (NRH)1113
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan  (PAK)1113
9Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland  (NIR)1102
10Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland  (SCO)1012
11Flag of Jamaica (1906-1957).svg  Jamaica  (JAM)1001
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago (1889-1958).svg  Trinidad and Tobago  (TRI)1001
13Flag of the Uganda Protectorate.svg  Uganda  (UGA)0101
14Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales  (WAL)0022
Totals (14 nations)29292987


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References

  1. Commonwealth Games Medallists - Women. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-08-30.
  2. Bryant, John (2005). 3:59.4: The Quest to Break the Four Minute Mile. Arrow Books Ltd. ISBN   978-0-09-946908-7.
  3. Great Sporting Moments: Athletics. The Independent . Retrieved on 2010-08-30.
  4. John de St. Jorre, The Nigerian Civil War (Hodder and Stoughton Publishing: London, 1972) p. 31.
  5. Oliver, Brian (13 July 2014). "Emmanuel Ifeajuna: Commonwealth Games gold to facing a firing squad". theguardian.com . Retrieved 13 July 2014.
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