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21 February - Ron Clarke, Gold Medal but never won a race

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21 February - Ron Clarke, Gold Medal but never won a race

Unread postby Max ADU » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:55 pm

Australian Birthdays Today - Ronald William "Ron" Clarke, MBE, born 21 February 1937 in Victoria, is a former Australian athlete, writer and was the Mayor of the Gold Coast from 2004 to 2012.

Ron Clarke.jpg

Ron Clarke has a gold medal... but never won an event in the Olympics (see video)

Clarke is one of the best known middle and long distance runners in the 1960s, notable for setting seventeen world records.

In 1956, when he was still a promising 19-year-old, he was chosen to light the Olympic Flame in the stadium during the opening ceremonies of the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.

During the 1960's Clarke won 12 Victorian track championships ranging from 1500 m to 6 miles (9.7 km).

Clarke won the bronze medal in the 10,000 m at the 1964 Summer Olympics,

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he collapsed and nearly died from altitude sickness sustained during the grueling 10,000 m race final.

He suffered permanent heart damage from this event, as despite training in the Alps to get acclimatised to high altitudes at Mexico City, this could not put him on par with opponents from African countries, who had always run at high altitude. Clarke finished in sixth place, but remembered nothing of the last lap.

In the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Clarke won silver in the 3 miles (4.8 km) event, and in the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Games he won silver medals in the 3 miles (4.8 km) and 6 miles (9.7 km) events.

During a 44-day European tour in 1965, he competed 18 times and broke 12 world records, including the 20,000 m (12.4 miles).

At London's White City Stadium, On 10 July, Clarke became the first man to run 3 miles in under 13 minutes, lowering the world record to 12:52.4. Four days later, in Oslo, he lowered his own 10,000m world record by 36.2 seconds to 27:39.4, becoming the first man to break the 28 minute barrier.

He was elected Mayor of the Gold Coast, Queensland in 2004, defeating the incumbent Gary Baildon.

Clarke resigned as Mayor of the Gold Coast on 27 February 2012, when he announced his nomination to run as an independent candidate for the seat of Broadwater in the 2012 Queensland state election but was defeated by Verity Barton (LNP)

Watch on youtube.com
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