Chronography of Athletics

Page last modified 15/11/2021


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See below for speed, height, length records


4/2/1995, Godfrey Brown, runner, died (born 21/2/1915).

5/3/1993, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was banned from the sport for life after failing a drugs test. In 1988 he had been banned for 2 years after using steroids at the Olympics.

11/5/1990, Harry Whittle, athlete (hurdles), died (born 2/5/1922)

31/12/1989, Ryan Sheckler, athlete, was born.

5/12/1988, Elizabeth Gleadle, Canadian athlete, was born.

10/9/1987, Ben Baker, British athletics (high jump) champion, died (born 15/2/1892)

26/11/1986, Malcolm Nokes, athlete (hammer throwing) died.

19/1/1985, Thomas Richards, athlete (marathon), died.

26/12/1984, Terence Johnson, long distance walker, died.

30/3/1983, Donald Cerrone, athlete, was born.

22/10/1981, David Burghley, athletics, died.

5/2/1981, Geoffrey Dyson, athlete, died (born 22/6/1914).

29/3/1981. The first London Marathon was run, with 6,700 competitors; the Norwegian, Inge Simonsen, won.

22/2/1981, Guy Butler, athlete, died (born 25/8/1899).

31/3/1980, The Black American athlete Jesse Owens died, aged 67. He won 4 medals at the 1936 �Aryan� Olympics in Germany, enraging Hitler, who refused to shake Owens� hand.

29/3/1975, Tommy Green, champion walker, died (born 30/3/1894).

2/9/1974, Maureen Gardner, athlete (hurdles), died

12/1/1974, Christopher Mackintosh, athlete (also rugby, skiing), died.

13/11/1972, Arnold Jackson, athlete, died (born 5/4/1891).

26/12/1970, Lilian Board, athletics champion, died (born 13/12/1948).

18/4/1970, Donald Finlay, athlete (hurdles), died.

2/1/1970, Andrea Holmes, trampoline champion, was born.

30/11/1969, Catherine McKiernan, athlete, was born.

28/11/1969, Sonia O�Sullivan, athlete (running), was born.

8/1/1969, Albert Hill, athlete, died.

13/8/1968, Tony Jarrett, English sprinter, was born.

13/10/1966, John Regis, athlete (sprinting), was born.

10/5/1966, Jonathan Edwards, triple jump athlete, was born.

22/10/1964, Michael Hill, athletics (javelin), was born.

14/8/1964, Geoffrey Parsons, athlete (high jump), was born.

24/11/1962, Andrea Lynch, athlete, was born.

10/5/1962, John Ngugi, Kenyan athlete (runner) was born in Kigumo, Muranga District.

19/2/1962, Stewart Matthews, trampoline champion, was born.

22/9/1961, Jack Buckner, athlete, was born.

19/4/1961, Jim Fox, athlete (modern pentathlon), was born.

3/3/1961, Fatima Whitbread, athlete (javelin), was born.

14/11/1960, Judy Simpson, athlete, was born.

14/10/1960, Stephen Cram, athlete, was born.

17/7/1960, Frank O�Mara, athlete (runner) was born.

2/4/1960, Linford Christie, athlete, was born in Jamaica.

9/9/1959, Susan Cheeseborough, gymnast, was born.

4/12/1958, Tim Hutchings, athletics champion, was born.

28/11/1958, Kriss Akabusi, athletics (hurdles) champion, was born.

18/11/1958, Shirley Strong, athlete (hurdles), was born.

17/4/1958, Laslo Babits: Canadian javelin thrower was born (died 2013).

9/11/1957, Peter O�Connor, athlete (long jump), died (born 18/10/1874).

28/10/1957, Glen Hoddle, athlete, was born.

4/6/1957, John Treacy, marathon runner, was born.

26/12/1956, Sarah Springman, athlete (triathlon), was born.

29/9/1956, Sebastian Coe, British international athlete, was born in Chiswick, London.

26/4/1956, Avril Lennox, gymnast, was born.

14/3/1956, Theresa Sanderson, athlete (javelin), was born.

25/2/1956, Mary Stewart, athlete, was born.

9/10/1955, Steve Ovett, athlete (javelin), was born.

1/5/1955, Donna Hartley, athletics champion, was born.

28/3/1953, James Francis Thorpe, athlete, died.

10/5/1953, David Moorcroft, athlete, was born.

10/4/1953, David Moorcroft, British athlete, was born in Coventry, England.

5/4/1953, Easter Sunday. Verona Elder, sprinter, was born.

28/3/1953, James Francis Thorpe, athlete, died.

21/11/1952, Eamonn Coghlan, athlete, was born in Dublin.

25/5/1952, David Jenkins, athlete, was born.

3/5/1952, Allan Wells, athlete, was born.

6/11/1951, Thomas Kiely, athlete, died (born 25/8/1869).

17/9/1951, Susan Reeve, athletics (long jump) was born).

28/10/1949, Barbara Lawton, athletics (high jump) champion, was born.

19/10/1949, Ian Thompson, marathon runner, was born.

21/8/1949, Geoffrey Capes, athlete (shot put), was born.

4/3/1949, George Larner, Olympic walker, died.

13/12/1948, Lilian Board, athletics champion, was born (died 26/12/1970)

11/10/1947, Alan Pascoe, athletics (hurdles), was born.

11/9/1946, Mike Bull, athletics (pole vault), was born in Belfast.

22/10/1945, Sheila Sherwood, athlete (long jump), was born.

27/6/1945, William Sturgess, champion walker, died (born 2/4/1871).

5/1/1944, Marshall Brooks, athletics (high jump) died (born 30/5/1855).

4/6/1943, Walter George, athlete, died (born 9/9/1858).

21/12/1942. Bob Hayes, athlete, was born.

29/6/1942, Maurice Davin, athlete, was born.

20/5/1942, Lynn Davies, long jump athlete, was born.

15/4/1942, Valeriy Brumel, Olympic high jumper, was born in Razvedki, USSR (died 2003).

4/10/1940, Susan Platt, athlete (javelin), was born.

10/2/1940, Mary Rand, athlete, was born.

6/7/1939, Mary Peters, athletics (pentathlon) was born.

19/3/1939, Ron Atkinson, athlete, was born.

26/2/1938, Brian Kilby, marathon runner, was born m Coventry, UK.

25/2/1938, Herb Elliott, runner, was born in Subiaco, Western Australia.

26/10/1937, Joyce Smith, marathon runner, was born.

17/8/1937, Arthur Rowe, athlete (shot put), was born

16/3/1936, Thelma Hopkins, athlete (high jump), was born.

29/9/1935, Bruce Tulloh, athlete (runner), was born.

25/5/1935. US athlete Jesse Owens broke 5 world records in one day.

26/11/1934, Suzanne Allday, athletics (shot) champion) was born.

25/12/1933, Basil Heatley, marathon runner, was born.

7/1/1933, Diane Leather, athlete, was born.

18/6/1932, Stanley Vickers, athlete (walking), was born.

17/6/1932, Derek Ibbotson, athlete, was born.

17/4/1931, Howard Payne, athletics (hammer throwing) was born (died 1/3/1992).

7/4/1931, Geoffrey Elliott, pole vaulter, was born in Ilford, London.

31/1/1931, Chris Chataway, athlete, was born.

20/11/1928, John Disley, athlete, was born.

21/8/1928, Christopher Brasher, athletics champion, was born in Guyana.

16/8/1928, Sheila Lerwill, athlete (high jump) was born.

11/6/1928, Alan Paterson, athletics (high jump), was born.

2/6/1922, Denis Horgan, athletics (shot put), died (born 18/5/1871).

2/5/1922, Harry Whittle, athlete (hurdles), was born (died 11/5/1990)

1918, The sport of orienteering began in Sweden (there known as orientering). By 1948 the sport had entered the UK and USA.

24/10/1918, James Peters, marathon runner, was born.

18/7/1917, Lou Boudreau, athlete, was born.

31/3/1915, Wyndham Halswelle, athlete, died (born 30/5/1882).

11/1/1915, Cyril Holmes, athlete, was born.

22/6/1914, Geoffrey Dyson, athlete, was born (died 5/2/1981).

12/9/1913, Jesse Owens, US athlete, was born.

27/1/1913, Athlete Jim Thorpe was stripped of two Olympic gold medals for his involvement in �professional� sport.

19/9/1910, Nellie Halstead, athlete, was born.

28/10/1907, Thomas Hampson, athlete, was born (died 4/9/1965).

13/3/1907, John Holden, marathon runner, was born.

15/9/1905, Patrick O�Callaghan, athlete (hammer throwing) was born (died 1/12/1991).

25/3/1905, Robert Howland, athletics (shot put), was born (died 7/3/1986).

16/12/1903, Harold Whitlock, champion walker, was born (died 27/12/1985).

2/8/1902, Ernie Harper, marathon runner, was born.

16/1/1902, Eric Liddell, Scottish athlete, was born (died 1945)

29/8/1900, Samuel Ferris, marathon runner, was born (died 21/3/1980).

23/11/1894, Ture Persson, Swedish sprinter, was born.

30/3/1894, Tommy Green, champion walker, was born (died 29/3/1975).

15/2/1892, Ben Baker, British athletics (high jump) champion, was born (died 10/9/1987)

5/4/1891, Arnold Jackson, athlete, was born (died 13/11/1972).

11/5/1890, William Applegarth, athletics champion, was born (died 5/12/1958).

25/8/1899, Guy Butler, athlete, was born (died 22/2/1981).

2/4/1888, Daniel F Ahearne, athletics triple jump champion, was born.

1887, The first English Cross Country Running Championships were held.

1886, The first Amateur Athletics Championships, UK, were held.

18/8/1885, Timothy Ahearne, athletics triple jump champion, was born in Limerick, Ireland.

1884, The Gaelic Athletic Association was formed.

1883, The Scotland Amateur Athletics Association was established.

1/11/1883, Philip Baker, athletics champion, was born (died 9/10/1982).

30/5/1882, Wyndham Halswelle, athlete, was born (died 31/5/1915).

1880, The Midlands Counties Athletics Association, England, was established.

1880, In Britain, the Amateur Athletics Association (AAA) was established to organise amateur athletics for men in England and Wales. In 1922 the Women�s Amateur Athletics Association was established, after the AAA refused to allow women�s clubs to affiliate. The two bodies merged in 1991.

1879, The Northern Counties Athletics Association, England, was established.

12/12/1879, Alfred Shrub, athlete (runner), was born (died 23/4/1964).

3/10/1879, Thomas Nicolson, athlete (hammer throwing), was born (died 18/4/1951).

20/7/1877, Patrick Leahy, athlete, was born.

27/4/1876, Cornelius Leahy, athlete, was born.

18/10/1874, Peter O�Connor, athlete (long jump), was born (died 9/11/1957).

18/5/1871, Denis Horgan, athletics (shot put), was born (died 2/6/1922).

2/4/1871, William Sturgess, champion walker, was born (died 27/6/1945).

25/8/1869, Thomas Kiely, athlete, was born (died 6/11/1951).

17/6/1866, The New York Athletic Club was founded by John G Babcock, who also invented a sliding seat for rowers.

4/2/1863, Lenox Tindall, athlete, was born (died 10/6/1940).

30/6/1859. The great tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, crossed Niagara Falls in eight minutes.He traversed a rope 1100 feet long, 160 feet above the water.This was the first crossing of Niagara on a tightrope.

9/9/1958, Walter George, athlete, was born (died 4/6/1943).

30/5/1855, Marshall Brooks, athletics (high jump) was born (died 5/1/1944)


Speed records


21/10/1979, Norwegian female runner Grete Waitz set a new time record of 2 hours 27 minutes 32.6 seconds for the New York marathon, 26 miles / 42 km.


5,000 metres

19/6/1956, Gordon Pirie set a new record of 13 minutes 36.8 seconds for the 5,000 metres run.

18/9/1955, Russian athlete Vladimir Kuts set a world 5,000 metre record of 14 minutes 46.8 seconds.


1 mile

28/1/1966, Joseph Binks, athletics champion who set a record 4 mins 15.8 seconds time for running a mile in 1902, a time not beaten until 1921, died.

6/5/1954, Roger Bannister, 25 years old, ran the first mile in under four minutes in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds, on the Iffley Road track in Oxford. The previous record, 4 minutes 1.3 seconds, had stood since 1945. In September 1993 Algerian athlete Noureddine Morceli ran a mile in 3 minutes 44.39 seconds, currently the world record.

23/3/1929, Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes (3 minutes, 59.4 seconds), was born in Harrow, London.



20/8/1938, In London, athlete Briton Shirley Wooderson set a new world record, running the half mile in 1 minute 49.2 seconds.


100 metres

25/8/1991, Carl Lewis set a new world record for the 100m sprint, 9.85 seconds.

26/9/1988. The Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson flew home from the Seoul Olympics in disgrace after being stripped of his 100m medal after failing a drugs test. He had run the 100m sprint 2 days earlier in a record time of 9.79 seconds but was found to have taken steroids. Afterwards Ben Johnson divided his time between his family in Toronto and acting as personal bodyguard for Libya�s Colonel Gaddafi.


Long Jump

30/8/1991, Mike Powell set a new long jump record of 8.95 metres.


High Jump

29/6/1956, In Los Angeles, athlete Charley Dumas set a new high jump record of 2.1 metres (7 feet),


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