Peter Snell: Titan of the track
New Zealand has produced some of the most prolific middle-distance runners in history and Cameron Tucker spoke with possibly the greatest of them all
By Cameron Tucker, Athletics Weekly
Last year was a record-breaking one in sport for New Zealand. The island nation, renowned for its haka-dancing rugby team, secured its largest ever medal haul at the Olympics in Rio.
Four of those medals came in athletics, including a bronze in the men’s 1500m for veteran Nick Willis, adding to his silver from Beijing.
Middle-distance running holds a sacred place in Kiwi lore. Since Jack Lovelock’s 1500m gold in Berlin (1936), the country’s medal cabinet has been kept full with gold from John Walker (1500m, Montreal 1976), Rod Dixon’s bronze (1500m, Munich 1972) and Willis’ double.
Although Lovelock’s was the first on the board, the country’s affinity with middle-distance running was truly established more than two decades later thanks to the exploits of Peter Snell.
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