Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by noone View Post
    If I remember correctly, Cerutty waved a yellow towel in Rome on the last lap, as a signal to Elliott to sprint for the WR.
    The way I remember this was that Elliott was dead tired at that point and was not sure what the towel meant. Was the WR possible? or did it mean the record was possible and Elliott was clear of the field? Or he was not clear of the field but the record was possible? At that point Elliott was not going to turn his head.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by noone View Post
    If I remember correctly, Cerutty waved a yellow towel in Rome on the last lap, as a signal to Elliott to sprint for the WR.
    Elliot's recollection of that event on the Australian Broadcasting Commission radio in 2001:

    Amanda Smith: Well probably the event that best sums up how exuberant and unorthodox Percy Cerutty was, was his behaviour during the running of the 1500 metres race in Rome in 1960, the yellow towel. Can I beg your indulgence, Herb, to tell that story?

    Herb Elliott: [snip]..So we had a little scheme that we worked out beforehand that he would sit up in the back straight it was, in the stadium in Rome, and in the last lap, if it looked as if I could win, or it looked as if I could break the world record, no it wasn't that. If it looked as if I could break the world record and it looked as if somebody was on my hammer, he'd wave the towel.

    So when we talked about this, I was in that vague zone area that you are when you're sort of nervous before an event, you only half listen to people.

    Anyway the event started of course, and as it happened in the last lap, I was in front down the back straight, and all of a sudden I saw Percy waving this towel and I couldn't remember what it was supposed to mean, except I had to run faster. So there he was.

    But it's an extraordinary thing, and it's an illustration of how focused you are. I perceived that he was in the crowd when he waved the towel, which is where he said he would be. In fact he was standing on the edge of the track, and there were police converging on him, because this old man had somehow or other got over this incredibly formidable moat to share the event with me, and it was very fitting that he did.

    Fortunately he stayed out of jail.

    Full interview transcript at: http://www.coolrunning.com.au/general/2001e003.shtml
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    #23
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    El Toro has the correct version in the 2001 Elliott interview. It is almost word for word the description that Elliott told in his autobiography (the next to the last page of his book).
    I have tried to see in videos of the race that are on line if you can see Percy at the approximately 250-300 mark down the last back straightaway. On some videos you can see "a fan" wave a towel like movement for one frame at the 240-250 yd from finish mark but he would be in the stands, not on side of the track.
    Anyone with full length color video of entire race should be able to see Percy on track side as Elliott comes down final back straightaway.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Per Andersen View Post
    The way I remember this was that Elliott was dead tired at that point and was not sure what the towel meant. Was the WR possible? or did it mean the record was possible and Elliott was clear of the field? Or he was not clear of the field but the record was possible? At that point Elliott was not going to turn his head.
    No talk of the 3:36.0 in Goteborg, in 1958? Equivalent to a much faster time than the mile WR. Description in Elliott's autobiography is pretty interesting.
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    #25
    A question was asked of Elliott's basic speed earlier in this thread. Not as fast as Snell, and yet...no-one has ever produced a quicker last 400m in a championship race than Elliott in the 1958 Commonwealth 880y. Having lost to Hewson and Rawson in the AAA, he took his revenge with splits of 58.8-50.5 [ie last 400m in 50.2], taking the lead just after the bell.
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    #26
    Yes, you're entirely correct-- his 1500m ties at Goteborg and again in Rome were superior to his mile time, which got more attention because so many of us were oriented toward the mile.
    Another forgotten aspect of his WR mile at Dublin was that, the next night, he helped pave his fellow Aussie, Alby Thomas, to a WR two mile, so on consecutive nights, the WR for the mile and two mile had been broken on the track at Santry, in the northern suburbs of Dublin. This, of course, led to speculation that the track at Santry was something really special-- an idea that Elliott himself did not advocate.
    In about a month, ai'll be flying into Dublin and, with luck, will take the correct bus from the airport to our hotel, and will pass what is now known as "Billy Morton Stadium". I know that I'll nudge my girlfriend, and point it out to her, and her reply will be a yawn.after all, 61 years ago...
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    #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchH41 View Post
    Nice level of conversation about Elliott. Anyone know what his basic speed level was at his peak - ie 400 meter dash? I know that Snell was around a 48 second 440 with Ryan about a half a second faster.
    50.7 for 440 yards.
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    #28
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    Elliott was what, 21-22 when he retired? It would have been interesting to see what he could have done to the 5000 record (13:35) at age 24-5.
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    #29
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    Exactly...but as Ron Clarke said Elliott quit because he was afraid to lose....and told Clarke later he regretted quitting so young....


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT2A...&persist_app=1
    Last edited by Conor Dary; 08-17-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Django View Post
    Yes, you're entirely correct-- his 1500m ties at Goteborg and again in Rome were superior to his mile time, which got more attention because so many of us were oriented toward the mile.
    Another forgotten aspect of his WR mile at Dublin was that, the next night, he helped pave his fellow Aussie, Alby Thomas, to a WR two mile, so on consecutive nights, the WR for the mile and two mile had been broken on the track at Santry, in the northern suburbs of Dublin. This, of course, led to speculation that the track at Santry was something really special-- an idea that Elliott himself did not advocate.
    In about a month, ai'll be flying into Dublin and, with luck, will take the correct bus from the airport to our hotel, and will pass what is now known as "Billy Morton Stadium". I know that I'll nudge my girlfriend, and point it out to her, and her reply will be a yawn.after all, 61 years ago...
    Nice write up.
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