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Classic moments

Discussions about athletics history

Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:45 pm

Pelle3 wrote:More on the 13:th floor found here
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Postby TomG » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:59 am

It was never my intention to start World War Three when I revived this thread and lauded Roger Bannister's feat. But it seems I've divided the world into Brits v The Rest.

Of course we should all be proud of our nation's achievements but not to the extent that we ignore or castigate other nation's achievements. If there was a moon landing all power to the Yanks, but do they appreciate so readily that it was the Russians who, allegedly, were first into space, first dog and first man?

I've mentioned Charlie Dumas and Parry O'Brien as being special for their achievements. Can we just acknowledge achievements regardless of nationality, race, creed etc. If a Yank, Aussie or whoever had run the first sub-4 mile I'd have recognised it as being special. Despite Wes Santee trying under perfect conditions in California it was our Rog who dun it! I believe the 50p coins issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary are still available from The Royal Mint. I've got one in silver!!
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Postby sleady » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:49 am

I think that there has always been a certain 'romanticism' surrounding the 4 minute mile. If you read any of the books on the subject they portray a wonderful nostalgia of a handful of athletes from different nations chasing a holy grail, none really being certain that it was actually possible.

Mind you, others have said that it had already been done when Bannister claimed the record, but that as it was not on a standard 440yd track it couldn't count. Or there's this gem in the Guardian.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/c ... 44,00.html
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Rog at Iffley Road

Postby TomG » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:50 pm

Thanks Sleady, that's a hell of an article by Peter Radford.

Ken Wood claims to have run under 4 minutes in a training session before Rog. I liked Ken Wood as well, like Ibbo something of a character.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:09 pm

Of course running the first sub-4 is a big moment in history and i, being a Bannister fan and track fan, also appreciate that his 3:58 win over Landy was the better performance.

As far as the Soviet space program- they were ahead of their time and were ground breaking. The only thing i would add is i dont think its reasonable to compare orbiting the earth with landing a man on the moon and bringing him home safely.
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Postby pegleg » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:09 pm

TomG wrote:It was never my intention to start World War Three when I revived this thread and lauded Roger Bannister's feat. But it seems I've divided the world into Brits v The Rest.
Tom, it's a healthy discussion. Compared to some of the other debates that go on here (ones that turn to personal slurs), this is pretty friendly. It's all on-topic and it's all good :D

TomG wrote:Of course we should all be proud of our nation's achievements but not to the extent that we ignore or castigate other nation's achievements.
I agree completely. I understand Roger's sub-4 being included in the countdown because it was a very famous moment. But I simply feel that breaking arbitrary marks (especially ones in pace-made races and ones that were almost a guarantee to be broken) should not rank above the REAL earth-shattering performances and moments such as Beamon's 8.90m, Johnson's 19.32, Ben Johnson's performances in Seoul, etc.

TomG wrote:Can we just acknowledge achievements regardless of nationality, race, creed etc.
Again I agree. AW appeared to have a British bias in their countdown. I can see why, as they are a Brit mag and must appeal to a Brit market, but if they do a countdown of the all-time greatest moments in the HISTORY of the sport WORLDWIDE, then they should not lose perspective of the performances themselves. I mean, Darren Campbell's European 100m win in 1998 being included in there?! Farcical.

TomG wrote:If a Yank, Aussie or whoever had run the first sub-4 mile I'd have recognised it as being special.
But would you still rate it as the greatest athletics moment of all-time if one of the other non-Brits had been the first?

TomG wrote:I believe the 50p coins issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary are still available from The Royal Mint.
I also believe that Sir Roger himself gets terribly embarrassed by all the fuss that continues to surround the achievement. He was dead against the 50th commemoration event that went ahead a couple years ago and it took a lot of persuasion to get his go-ahead.
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Postby kima » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:24 pm

I agree with all that you say pegleg though I sure as hell woudn't put BJ's performance in Seoul on an all top classic moments thread.

And I am Canadian.

A proud one . :wink:
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Postby pegleg » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:31 pm

Completely see where you're coming from. It wasn't a 'great' moment for the sport (although it could be argued that if it wasn't for that, anti-doping measures may not be so strict today).

But my basic point was that it belongs in a classic 'moments' countdown because it was just such a huge moment and turning point that transcended the sport.
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Postby kima » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:15 pm

Okay I see your point. Some scandals can still be classic moments.

Kind of damages my campaign to wipe the entire incident from the psyche of Canadians but I guess since this is AW there are no worries there.
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Postby Alf Shrubb » Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:14 am

sleady wrote:I think that there has always been a certain 'romanticism' surrounding the 4 minute mile. If you read any of the books on the subject they portray a wonderful nostalgia of a handful of athletes from different nations chasing a holy grail, none really being certain that it was actually possible.

Mind you, others have said that it had already been done when Bannister claimed the record, but that as it was not on a standard 440yd track it couldn't count. Or there's this gem in the Guardian.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/c ... 44,00.html


Oh, no! Don't try to revive this DEAD horse! Radford's speculation that a 4-minute mile was run in the year 1305 or whatever, is just that: speculation. There is absolutely NO factual basis to it whatsoever, but "skeptics" (like me) find themselves in the position, basically, of having to "prove" that it did NOT happen--an absurd and logically useless position, to say the least. None of this happened: full stop. Roger Bannister ran history's first sub-4 mile, at Iffley Road, in May 1954, in that beatifully orchestrated time-trial that we're so familiar with. All the other stories are pure fantasy.
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Rog's feat

Postby TomG » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:15 am

I promise this is my last post on the issue.

I would like to clarify one or two points I have been arguing.

1. Cinder track. Yes they were all cinders or similar in those days but Iffley Road was a general track, not one used for main events only.

2. Iffley Road is not an enclosed stadium so it is subject to extremes of weather and that evening it was cold and blustery, a typical English early summer EVENING.

3. Even if it was an organised 'time-trial' there was no one to push Rog over the last lap if the time was slipping away. A recognised miler such as Ken Wood would have meant a better performance I believe.

4. Only 4 sub-4 minute miles were run in 1954, two each by Rog and Landy, so it hardly opened the floodgates in the times. It was a couple of years before sub-4s became almost commonplace and of course Herb Elliot made it almost obligatory for 4 minutes to be broken every time he raced in 1958 and on.

5. I believe whoever was first deserves the full accolade. I was just pleased it was Rog.

6. No one, especially those of us fortunate enough to see it live or on TV, can take anything away from Bob Beaman's LJ in Mexico. And don't forget the TJ record was shattered time and time again in the Olympics.
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Postby james montgomery » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:49 pm

Alf Shrubb wrote:
sleady wrote:I think that there has always been a certain 'romanticism' surrounding the 4 minute mile. If you read any of the books on the subject they portray a wonderful nostalgia of a handful of athletes from different nations chasing a holy grail, none really being certain that it was actually possible.

Mind you, others have said that it had already been done when Bannister claimed the record, but that as it was not on a standard 440yd track it couldn't count. Or there's this gem in the Guardian.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/c ... 44,00.html


Oh, no! Don't try to revive this DEAD horse! Radford's speculation that a 4-minute mile was run in the year 1305 or whatever, is just that: speculation. There is absolutely NO factual basis to it whatsoever, but "skeptics" (like me) find themselves in the position, basically, of having to "prove" that it did NOT happen--an absurd and logically useless position, to say the least. None of this happened: full stop. Roger Bannister ran history's first sub-4 mile, at Iffley Road, in May 1954, in that beatifully orchestrated time-trial that we're so familiar with. All the other stories are pure fantasy.


Whichever way you want to look at it the fact remains that Bannister's mile is the one that gripped the public imagination and remains the outstanding milestone in British, if not world athletics history.

The fact that we can all fly in aeroplanes and pop over to Australia does not diminish Wilbur Wright's first powered flight or Cook's "discovery" of the land of Oz.

Hundreds have climbed Everest including a 13 year old but the fact remains that Hillary and Tensing got there first and they, like the others above, are the ones who are remembered in history.
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Postby Alf Shrubb » Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:22 pm

james montgomery wrote:
Alf Shrubb wrote:
sleady wrote:I think that there has always been a certain 'romanticism' surrounding the 4 minute mile. If you read any of the books on the subject they portray a wonderful nostalgia of a handful of athletes from different nations chasing a holy grail, none really being certain that it was actually possible.

Mind you, others have said that it had already been done when Bannister claimed the record, but that as it was not on a standard 440yd track it couldn't count. Or there's this gem in the Guardian.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/c ... 44,00.html


Oh, no! Don't try to revive this DEAD horse! Radford's speculation that a 4-minute mile was run in the year 1305 or whatever, is just that: speculation. There is absolutely NO factual basis to it whatsoever, but "skeptics" (like me) find themselves in the position, basically, of having to "prove" that it did NOT happen--an absurd and logically useless position, to say the least. None of this happened: full stop. Roger Bannister ran history's first sub-4 mile, at Iffley Road, in May 1954, in that beatifully orchestrated time-trial that we're so familiar with. All the other stories are pure fantasy.


Whichever way you want to look at it the fact remains that Bannister's mile is the one that gripped the public imagination and remains the outstanding milestone in British, if not world athletics history.

The fact that we can all fly in aeroplanes and pop over to Australia does not diminish Wilbur Wright's first powered flight or Cook's "discovery" of the land of Oz.

Hundreds have climbed Everest including a 13 year old but the fact remains that Hillary and Tensing got there first and they, like the others above, are the ones who are remembered in history.


Not quite sure why you've quoted me here, since your comments can't really be a response to mine. I agree with every word you've written, and was attempting to make the same points. Despite all the qualifications around Bannister's Iffley Road mile (time trial, etc.), I fully agree that it IS the most famous single achievement in modern track and field athletics. There's no way to mathematically "prove" that statement--but I feel safe in saying that it has vastly more resonance in the public mind than any comparable performance. You're quite right: history matters in the sense that, say, flying an airplane in 1903 is a very big deal; flying an airplane in 1923 or 1953 or 2003 is NOT any big deal.
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Postby james montgomery » Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:25 pm

Alf Shrubb wrote:
james montgomery wrote:
Alf Shrubb wrote:
sleady wrote:I think that there has always been a certain 'romanticism' surrounding the 4 minute mile. If you read any of the books on the subject they portray a wonderful nostalgia of a handful of athletes from different nations chasing a holy grail, none really being certain that it was actually possible.

Mind you, others have said that it had already been done when Bannister claimed the record, but that as it was not on a standard 440yd track it couldn't count. Or there's this gem in the Guardian.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/athletics/c ... 44,00.html


Oh, no! Don't try to revive this DEAD horse! Radford's speculation that a 4-minute mile was run in the year 1305 or whatever, is just that: speculation. There is absolutely NO factual basis to it whatsoever, but "skeptics" (like me) find themselves in the position, basically, of having to "prove" that it did NOT happen--an absurd and logically useless position, to say the least. None of this happened: full stop. Roger Bannister ran history's first sub-4 mile, at Iffley Road, in May 1954, in that beatifully orchestrated time-trial that we're so familiar with. All the other stories are pure fantasy.


Whichever way you want to look at it the fact remains that Bannister's mile is the one that gripped the public imagination and remains the outstanding milestone in British, if not world athletics history.

The fact that we can all fly in aeroplanes and pop over to Australia does not diminish Wilbur Wright's first powered flight or Cook's "discovery" of the land of Oz.

Hundreds have climbed Everest including a 13 year old but the fact remains that Hillary and Tensing got there first and they, like the others above, are the ones who are remembered in history.


Not quite sure why you've quoted me here, since your comments can't really be a response to mine. I agree with every word you've written, and was attempting to make the same points. Despite all the qualifications around Bannister's Iffley Road mile (time trial, etc.), I fully agree that it IS the most famous single achievement in modern track and field athletics. There's no way to mathematically "prove" that statement--but I feel safe in saying that it has vastly more resonance in the public mind than any comparable performance. You're quite right: history matters in the sense that, say, flying an airplane in 1903 is a very big deal; flying an airplane in 1923 or 1953 or 2003 is NOT any big deal.


Yeh, sorry "Alf" if it read that way. I was not countering your post only responding to those who couldn't see the profound difference between the physical achievement and the historical one.
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Postby Alf Shrubb » Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:15 pm

Got ya; we're in agreement. Why can't everyone be as sensible as we are?!? :shock: :!:
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Re: Classic moments

Postby johnboy444425 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:06 pm

pegleg wrote:The count-down is more than half way through and there's just over 20 spots remaining. Who do you feel deserves a place in the top 20, and which athletic moment would you rank as the greatest?

Personally, I think the BBC poll's top ten wasn't too bad, and all of them deserve to be in the top fifteen at least (although with the order reshuffled for some of them). Beamon's 8.90m seemed to be ranked a little low, while Jonathan Edwards' 18.29m was surprisingly high. Difficult to look past MJ's 19.32 as one of the greatest moments ever.

What do others think?

My greatest memories of athletics are as follows.Ed Moses winning by a mile for seemingly most of my childhood.Coe,Ovett and cram ruling the wold as i became a man, Powell V Lewis in 1991(pure theatre) Liz Mc Colgan running forever in the rain to glory, Jonathan Edwards' cheesy grin in Stockholm,Kelly's wide eyed disbelief in athens, and Kelly and crammy hugging in trafalgar square after the olympic announcement. Fantastic
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Re: Classic moments

Postby Ian » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:40 am

Irena Szewinska clawing back Marita Koch will always be my greatest moment watching athletics
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