Record-breaking Elliott reaches peak in 1,500m
There are those athletes whose claim to greatness is built on years or even decades at the top of their sport. And then there are some who shine briefly, but still manage to leave behind an indelible legacy. Herb Elliott competed in only one edition of the Games, yet his feats in the city of Rome in 1960 were enough to secure him a place in the pantheon of Olympic greats.
The Australian arrived in Rome as the world record holder, and the clear favourite for the 1,500m. He had been unbeaten over the distance since 1954, and had taken Commonwealth titles two years earlier in the mile and the 880 yards. He held the world records over a mile and 1,500m, but was also wellknown for his unconventional training techniques, developed by his coach Percy Cerutty, which often involved running on sand dunes instead of tracks, and always concentrating on his own tactics instead of analysing the performances of his rivals.