Results, 1956 Melbourne, from the Track Garage
In all of track geekdom, there are few bigger geeks than Mike Fanelli, and here’s the proof, supplement 1 to day 1, 1968 Olympics.
MAMO MIA IN MELBOURNE...in one of my recent postings regarding the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, I mentioned that for Mamo Wolde said the Games were his third Olympiad. I went on further to say that the Ethiopian great first competed at Melbourne in 1956…and that there, he tripled, running the 1500, 800, and a leg on the 4 x 400 meter relay.
Long-time pal, Larry Rawson, inquired about Mamo’s one-lap split in that relay. While none of my resources (including the dusty circa ’56 Track & Field News that calls a certain garage ‘home’) could shed any light on the topic. But THEN, I had a flash…I seemed to recall that within the garage archives’ Australia wing, there were some meet programs from that big ol’ track meet Down Under…some 62 years years ago, according to my Wayback Machine. Lo and behold, I uncovered the November 30, 1956, meet program that features within the first round of the 4 x 400 relays…oh, and it is in A+ immaculate mint condition as though you brought it home from yesterday’s CYO meet.
At any rate, it is pictured here, along with all of the starting lineups. The Ethiopians ran in the third heat and started out in lane 5. Mamo ran the third leg. They did not qualify through to the next round and were timed in 3:29.93. We can extrapolate from that that they averaged 52.49 per man, so we have some sense of a foundation from which to benchmark the young 24-year-old future Olympic marathon champion’s ballpark quarter mile time.
Thought that you just might kinda’ like to know!
Have you signed up at www.runblogrun.com for our free newsletter?