Chronography of Athletics

Page last modified 9/11/2022


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See below for speed, height, length records


3/3/2018, Roger Bannister, first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes, died (born 23/3/1929)

1/9/2006, Bob Mathias, decathlete, died (born 17/11/1930)

16/2/2004, Shirley Strickland, athlete, died.

22/11/2000, Emil Zapotek, long distance runner, died.

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

12/8/1973, Darren Campbell, athlete, was born.

16/2/1973, Cathy Freeman, athlete, was born.

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

27/8/1972, Denise Lewis, heptathlete, was born

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.

26/7/1969, Tanni Grey-Thompson, athlete, was born

4/2/1969, Matthew Yates, athlete, was born

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

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

14/9/1967, Michael Johnson, athlete, 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.

3/2/1963, Stefano Mei, Italian athlete, was born

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

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

3/3/1962, Jackie Joyner Kersee, athlete, was born.

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

30/12/1961, Ben Johnson, athlete, 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.

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.

5/6/1957, New York narcotics investigator, Dr Herbert Berger, urged the American Medical Association to investigate use of stimulating drugs by athletes.

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.

31/8/1955, Ed Moses, athlete, was born.

16/5/1955, Olga Korbutt, gymnast, 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.

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).

3/5/1950, Allan Wells, athlete., 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.

7/4/1946, Colette Besson, athlete, was born (died 9/8/2005)

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

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

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

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.

5/8/1938, Hayes Jones, US athlete, was born in Sturksville, Mississippi

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.

11/11/1934, Elzbieta Krzesinska, Polish long jumper, was born in Warsaw (died 2015)

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.

17/11/1930, Bob Mathias, decathlete, was born (died 1/9/2006)

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.

6/1/1915, Ibolya Csak, Hungarian high jumper, was born (died 9/2/2006)

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.

5/1/1910, Jack Lovelock, athlete, was born.

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

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


10/2019, Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan athlete, broke the 2 hour barrier for the marathon with a toime oif 1:59:40 seconds, although this did not count as an official record. He also holds the official record for the marathon, set in Berlin in 2018, of 2:01:39.

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.


1 hour

1972, Gaston Roielants (Belgium) set a new distance record of 12 miles, 1,599 yards


10,000 metres

14/7/1973, Dave Bedford (England) set a new world record of 27 minutes 31.0 seconds.

1972, Lase Viren (Finland) set a new world record at the 1972 Olympics for running 10,000 metres of 27 minutes 38.4 seconds.


5,000 metres

1972, Emiel Puttemans (Belgium) set a new world record for running 5,000 metres of 13 minutes 13 seconds.

11/6/1965, Frenchman Michel Jazy set a new world record for running 5,000 metres of 13 minutes 29 seconds.

16/1/1965, Australian Ron Clarke set a new 5,000 metre record of 13 minuntes 34.6 seconds in Hobart, Tasmania.

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

12/12/1975, John Walker (New Zealand) ran the mile in 3 minutes 49.4 seconds

1967, Jim Ryun, USA, ran the mile in 3 minutes 51.1 seconds

9/6/1965, Frenchman Michel Jazy, 28, set a new record for running 1 mile of 3 minutes 53.6 seconds.

27/1/1962, Peter Snell set a new world record of 3 minutes, 54.4 seconds

1/1/1962, world record = 3 minutes, 54.5 seconds

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.

1/1/1934, world record = 4 minutes, 7.6 seconds

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.

1902, Joseph Binks, athletics champion set a record 4 mins 15.8 seconds time for running a mile, a time not beaten until 1921.



27/5/1973, Rick Wohlhuter (USA) set a new record of 1 minute 44.6 seconds.

3/2/1962, Peter Snell set a new world record of 1 minute, 45.1 seconds

1/1/1962, world record = 1 minute, 46.8 seconds

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

1/1/1934, world record = 1 minute, 50.9 seconds


400 metres

1967, Tommie Smoith ran the 400 metres in 44.5 seconds


100 metres

2005, Asafa Powell ran the 100 metre sprint in 9.77 seconds.

1999, Tim Montgomery legitimately matched Ben Johnson�s disallowed time of 9.78 seconds for the 100 metre sprint/

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.

14/10/1968, US athlete James Hines ran the 100 metres in under 10 seconds, a record that stood until 1983.


Long Jump

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

18/10/1968, Bob Beamon, 22, US athlete, shattered the world long jump record by 53 cm (21 inches), attaining a jump of 8.9 metres (29 ft, 2.5 inches), a record that stood until 1991 when Mike Powell jumped 8.95 metres (29 ft 4.5 inches).


High Jump,

29/9/1962, Valeri Brumel set a new world record of 7ft, 5.75 inches

1/1/1962, world record = 7ft 4 inches

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

1/1/1934, world record = 6 ft, 8.625 inches.


Pole Vault,

24/10/1970, Christos Papnicolaou (Greece) set a new world record of 18 fteet 0.25 inches.

21/6/1969, John Pennel (USA) set a new world record of 17 feet 10.25 inches

1967, Paul Wilson set a new world record of 17 feet 7.75 inches

1/1/1964, world record = 17 feet, 0.75 inches

22/6/1962, Pentti Nikula set a new world record of 16 feet 2.25 inches

1/1/1962, world record = 15 feet, 9.25 inches

1/1/1934, world record = 14 feet, 4.375 inches


Shot Put

1967, Randy Matson set a new world record of 71 feet 5.5 inches

18/5/1962, Dallas Long set a new world record of 65 feet, 10.5 inches

1/1/1962, world record = 65 feet, 10 inches

1/1/1934, world record = 53 feet, 1.75 inches



1/1/1964, world record = 205 feet, 5.5 inches

1/7/1962, Al Oerter set a new world record of 204 feet 10.5 inches

1/1/1962, world record = 199 feet, 2.5 inches

1/1/1934, world record = 169 feet, 8.875 inches



18/6/1969, Jorma Kinnunen (Finland) se a new world record of 304 feet 1.5 inches

1/1/1964, world record = 284 feet, 7 inches

1/1/1962, world record = 284 feet, 7 inches

1/1/1934, world record = 249 feet, 8 inches


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