Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 9 Day 4 Rome Olympics

1960 Olympics – Day Four – Sept. 3

On the docket today are three finals, the hammer throw, steeplechase and semis and final of the 200. We also have the first round of the 1500 and the first and second rounds of the 400 and high hurdles.


Our sprinters have always been the gold standard in this event, but after a poor showing in the 100, there has to be serious concern. The first race gives further cause for worry. France’s Abdou Seye wins in 20.8 over Poland’s Marian Foik (21.0) and Les Carney (21.1). The US’s chances in the second semi appear better. Stone Johnson and Ray Norton share the world record of 20.5. After the race there is one more member of the world record club. Italy’s Livio Berruti delights his countrymen by leaving the Americans in his wake with his own 20.5. Johnson (20.7) and Norton (20.8) must be having serious doubts at this point.

Marian Foik


Three heats with three qualifying for the final on Tuesday, Sept 6. Herb Elliott has not competed heavily the last couple years, but the first race shows he is more than ready. His 3:41.4 is only two tenths off Ron Delany’s Olympic record. Hungary’s Istvan Rozsavolgyi (3:42.0) and Dyrol Burleson (3:42.2) will run again in three days. Michel Bernard, last seen yesterday in the 5000 final, seems no worse for wear as he takes the second heat in 3:42.2. Jim Grelle (3:43.5) and Norway’s Arne Hamarsland (3:45.0) qualify as well. Sweden’s Dan Waern demonstrates medal potential with a 53.8 last lap in winning the third heat in 3:43.9 over Michel Jazy of France (3:44.9) and Zoltan Vamos of Rumania (3:44.9).


The malady that is troubling our sprinters does not extend to our 400 guys. The morning round has nine heats with three qualifying. Jack Yerman is up first in heat six. He coasts to a 47.2 win. In the next race Earl Young matches the 47.6 of Mal Spence of the British West Indies, qualifying easily in second. The last race of the morning sees Otis Davis winning by five meters in 46.8.

The afternoon round has four races with three qualifying. After Germany’s Karl Kaufmann takes the first race in 46.5, each succeeding race is faster. Yerman, Young and Davis all win with 46.4, 46.1 and 45.9 clockings. Tomorrow will be an off day. The semifinals will be Monday and the finals Tuesday.


Any way you slice it, this is a competition among Germany’s Martin Lauer and the three Americans, Lee Calhoun, Hayes Jones and Willie May. Today provides no reason to think otherwise. The morning sees six heats with four qualifying. The four big guns win easily. Other winners are Keith Gardner of the British West Indies and Russia’s Anatoliy Mikhailov. No one breaks 14.0

Times are a bit faster in the afternoon where four races qualify three for Monday’s semifinals. The big four each win with May’s 13.8 being the fastest time.
Calhoun and May at Olympic Trials, Stanford

Hayes Jones, again, wait til Tokyo , Dudes.

Hayes Jones today.

Martin Lauer eventual gold in 4x100 1960


The prelims were held yesterday. Those throwing 60 meters qualified for today’s final. This has long promised to be a good event for the US. Hal Connolly is the world record holder and defending champion. Al Hall finished fourth at Melbourne. Unfortunately, neither throws well enough to make the cut at the end of three rounds. Connolly throws on 208-7 1/2 for eighth and Hall can only manage 196-0 1/2 for 14th. Roberto Quercetani writes, “Hall said afterwards both he and Connolly just did not have the strength for some reason”.

Hal at Melbourne. What a difference 4 years makes.

Harold and Olga

Harold Today
The gold is settled early when the USSR’s Vasiliy Rudenkov pops a 220-1 1/2, four feet ahead of Hungary’s Gyula Zsivotsky who takes the silver with a 215-10 effort. Third goes to yet another European, Tadeusz Rut of Poland, at 215-4.

Tadeuz Rut, Poland Bronze a Tab Hunter stand in?

Indeed the first seven finishers are European. The only solace the US can take from this competition is the come through performance of Ireland’s John Lawlor, a former student at Boston University. His 213-1 gives him fourth place.


Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak of Poland had a decision to make. Heats and finals in the 5000 and steeplechase overlap making this double too risky. Should he choose to run the 5000, he would be a strong gold medal contender. On the other hand, he is the world record holder and a prohibitive favorite in the steeple. He decides to run the latter.

The field of nine includes three Russians and two Germans. The only US entry is Deacon Jones. As they toe the line the temperature is 86 degrees, a factor that must be taken into consideration.

Gaston Roelants wait til Tokyo, mes amis!

Charles Deacon Jones

It is obvious that the Russians have a plan to take the sting out of Krzys’ kick. Alexey Konov has been chosen as the sacrificial lamb. He takes the field through the first kilometer in 2:45.0 (8:15 pace). Obviously this can’t last. It doesn’t. Teammate Nikolay Sokolov, the man who finished only two seconds behind Krzys in his WR race, takes over the heavy lifting in the second kilo, but the pace has slowed to three minutes and the 2000 is reached in 5:45.8. When Sololov takes the lead, Krzys moves to third behind Belgium’s Gaston Roelants, just ahead of Russian Semyon Rzhishchin. It is just a question of time until Krzys makes his move. By the last lap the heat has taken its toll and the field has strung out considerably behind the leaders. On the backstretch the world record holder goes to the gear the others lack and, boom, it is over just like that. Sokolov is the only one to respond but it is apparent that he is running for the silver medal. Krzys hits the tape in 8:34.2, an amazing time considering the heat, only three seconds off his WR. Soklov, consistent with the two second rule, runs 8:36.4. Rzhishchin takes the bronze at 8:42.2, ahead of Roelants (8:47.6). Charlie Jones, fifth and still in contention at the 2000, fades in the heat and finishes seventh in 9:18.2.
Krzyszkowiak Gold Medal


The crowd has been waiting for this race. The stands are alive with expectation. An Italian has a chance to win gold. The last time an Italian won gold on the track was 1920 when Ugo Frigerio won the 3000 meter and 10,000 meter walks. Forty years is a long wait.

The lane one won’t be used. Foik is inside in two. Going out, it is Seye, Johnson, Berruti, Norton and Carney. Both Berruti and Johnson jump on the first try, but neither is charged with a false start. Finally, after what seems like an agonizingly long time, they are off. Berruti is a great turn runner and he proves it by leading Norton into the stretch. This is the best part of Norton’s race yet he has nothing left and falls back to finish last. Carney, third off the turn, gains a little on the Italian, but the issue is never in doubt. Berruti runs 20.5 to tie the world record for the second time today. Carney’s strong finish earns the silver at 20.6, a tick ahead of the Frenchman, Seye. Foik garners fourth in 20.8, the same time as Johnson. Norton’s 20.9 would be laudable most days, but not this one. Berruti is the first non English speaker to win the modern Olympic 200. Likely he is also the first 200 winner to wear sunglasses during the race. It would be safe to say that Livio does not have to pay for dinner or drinks this evening or maybe ever again. Rome is in a celebratory mood Saturday night. The Italians have their champion.



to the victors, the spoils

Tomorrow is an off day. Monday will see the semis in the 400, semis and final in the high hurdles and the start of the much anticipated decathlon.

Editor's note: Stone Johnson RIP I'm sure many of you remember that in 1963 Stone Johnson lost his life in an NFL preseason contest for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Raiders. The injury was August 30, 1963 and he died ten days later of a broken neck and paralysis on September 8. The game was in Wichita, Kansas. Although Stone never officially played in an NFL game his number 33 was retired by Lamar Hunt the team owner.

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