|Cardiff 1958||One mile|
Mervyn George "Merv" Lincoln (22 November 1933 –1 May 2016) was an Australian middle-distance runner who won a silver medal in the mile run at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and twice competed in the Summer Olympic Games.
Merv Lincoln was born in Leongatha, Victoriaand raised in Wodonga, where for many years in his honour there has been a Lincoln Causeway adjacent to the Hume Freeway.
He qualified for the 1500 metres final at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, finishing 12th.He was tipped as a potential successor to the retiring John Landy as Australia's leading miler; however, newcomer Herb Elliott defeated him at the 1957 national championships.
Lincoln ran his first four-minute mile on 23 March 1957, the eleventh man in the world and the third Australian to accomplish that feat.His time of 3:58.9 was less than a second short of Landy's world record of 3:58.0. Despite his loss to Elliott at the Australian championships he did also win a national championship mile that year, winning the United States championship race as an outside competitor. Track & Field News ranked him #7 in the world for 1957, one place below his Australian rival Elliott.
Lincoln reached his peak in 1958 but was overshadowed by the rapidly improving Elliott.The Australian team of Elliott, Lincoln, and Albie Thomas swept the medals in the mile at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Lincoln running 4:01.80 for silver. He set his personal mile best of 3:55.9 in Dublin on 6 August 1958, finishing more than a second under Derek Ibbotson's world record of 3:57.2 yet still only being the runner-up as Elliott won in a new record time of 3:54.5. Track & Field News ranked Lincoln as second in the world that year; however, that proved to be the last time he was ranked among the world's top ten, and at the 1960 Olympics in Rome he failed to qualify from the heats.
He was coached by the Austrian-born Franz Stampfl, a bitter rival of Elliott's coach Percy Cerutty.Stampfl stated Lincoln only trained one hour a day, in contrast to the harder training of Elliott.
He died on 1 May 2016, aged 82.
A four-minute mile is the completion of a mile run (1.6 km) in four minutes or less. It was first achieved in 1954 by Roger Bannister, at age 25, 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 cultures that use Imperial units. In the 65 years since, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13, by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, at age 24, in 1999. Running a mile in four minutes translates to a speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h).
Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was a British middle-distance athlete and neurologist who ran the first sub-4-minute mile.
Herbert James ElliottAC MBE is a former Australian athlete and arguably the world's greatest middle distance runner of his era. In August 1958 he set the world record in the mile run, clocking 3:54.5, 2.7 seconds under the record held by Derek Ibbotson; later in the month he set the 1500 metres world record, running 3.36.0, 2.1 seconds under the record held by Stanislav Jungwirth. In the 1500 metres at the 1960 Rome Olympics, he won the gold medal and bettered his own world record with a time of 3:35.6.
Ronald Michael Delany, better known as Ron or Ronnie Delany, is an Irish former athlete, who specialised in middle distance running. He won a gold medal in the 1500 metres event at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He later earned a bronze medal in the 1500 metres event at the 1958 European Athletics Championships in Stockholm.
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John Michael Landy, is an Australian retired middle-distance runner and state governor. He was the second man to break the four-minute mile barrier in the mile run and held the world records for the 1500-metre run and the mile race. He was also the 26th Governor of Victoria from 2001 to 2006.
George Derek Ibbotson was an English runner who excelled in athletics in the 1950s. His most famous achievement was setting a new world record in the mile in 1957.
David Wesley Santee was an American middle distance runner and athlete who competed mainly in the 1,500 meters and mile events.
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Franz Ferdinand Leopold Stampfl MBE was one of the world's leading athletics coaches in the twentieth century. He pioneered a scientific system of Interval Training which became very popular with sprint and middle distance athletes.
Percy Wells Cerutty was an Australian athletics coach in the 1950s and 1960s.
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