World champion miler, Derek Ibbotson, won a spectacular victory at Vancouver, in Canada, in the British Columbia Centennial Mile.
World champion miler, Derek Ibbotson, won a spectacular victory at Vancouver, in Canada, in the British Columbia Centennial Mile. Part of the centennial celebrations of the founding of British Columbia, this race was slowed down by a track soggy with two days intermittent rain. Under favourable conditions it might have been a record-breaker, for there were four runners who had previously broken the four minute barrier or had come very close to it. As it was, despite the muddy track, there were plenty of thrills.
With Ibbotson in third place from near the start the Australian runners, Merv Lincoln and Alex Henderson, battled for the lead. And for the most part that was the order. As they came into final stretch of the last lap Derek Ibbotson kicked out and started his powerful last minute sprint. Hurtling along the last few yards it was Lincoln in the lead, straining to hold off Ibbotson. With just half a dozen feet to the tape Ibbotson slowly reached Lincoln's shoulder; then they were neck and neck; and as they fast through the tape there was hardly seemed to be a twenty-fourth of an inch in it.
When the time-keepers compared their stop-watches Ibbotson was declared the winner, with Lincoln second, just a tenth of a second behind; Derek Ibbotson's time was four minutes, five point four seconds.