Died: RaNae Bair, 77
On January 23; in San Diego, California; of cancer. The 2-time Olympic javelinist represented the U.S. in the ’64 and ’68 Games, finishing 11th in the latter. She won the World University Games in ’67, the same year she captured Pan-Am silver. A 3-time World Ranker, she was No. 3 in ’67.
Died: Martin Hyman, 87
On April 03; in Livingston, England. A 4-time World Ranker in the 10,000, the Briton was No. 2 in ’59. The next year he claimed 9th in the Olympics.
Died: Dennis Johnson, 81
On April 22; in Kingston, Jamaica; of COVID. In ’61, the San José State speedster became the first man to run 100y in 9.3 four times, all equaling the WR. He Ranked No. 2 in the world that year. The next season he placed 3rd in the NCAA 100. He created a stir during his record surge by being very slow to rise to the set position, causing a T&FN headline to ask, “Is Johnson’s Start OK?”
Died: Antal Kiss, 85
On April 07; in Tatabánya, Hungary. The silver medalist in the 50K walk at the ’68 Olympics, he also competed in ’64 and ’72, essaying a 20K/50K double all three times..
Died: Tamara Press, 83
On April 26; in Moscow. The dominant shot and disc thrower of her era, she won Oly gold in the shot and silver in the discus in ’60 for the Soviet Union, then gold in both four years later. She also won two European titles in the discus and one in the shot. In all she set 12 World Records, 6 each in each of her specialties. She World Ranked 10 times in the shot, 7 times at No. 1. In the discus she made the Rankings 11 times, 3 times at No. 1.
Thomas Saisi, 75
In March; in Kapenguria, Kenya. A 2-time Olympian in the 800, Saisi took 7th in ’68 but didn’t advance beyond the heats 4 years later. He twice World Ranked, claiming No. 8s in both ’68 & ’71. He also ran on Kenya’s WR-setting 4 x 880y team in ’70. □