At the Montreal Olympics, African Sportsmen may not compete in events in which New Zealanders take part.
GV Walker preparing for run
GV Walker running round track
SV Walker being paced
GV Walker being paced and encouraged by onlookers.
John Walker set his wolf mile record on 12 August, 1975 in a race in Gothenburg, Sweden. There were claims that he had been paced during the race and that his time could not be valid. However, the complaints were not upheld and Walker's time of 3 minutes, 49.6 seconds stood.
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Background: At the Montreal Olympics, African Sportsmen may not compete in events in which New Zealanders take part. The Chairman of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa, Abraham Ordia, said in Auckland yesterday (6 June), this was because New Zealand is planning to send its rugby team to South Africa. But despite the threats, one of New Zealand's strongest Olympic hopes, John Walker, is still preparing for his 1500 metres battle in Montreal with Tanzanian, Filbert Bayi. In recent training, Walker set a time of 3 minutes, 37.5 seconds over the distance.
SYNOPSIS: Walker's time was three and a half seconds inside the qualifying time for New Zealand's Olympic team. He said later that he could have run faster but as it was a trial, he didn't feel any incentive to do so. His trainer, Arch Jelley, said that Walker will become the first man to break three minutes 30 seconds for the distance.
Walker was paced for his time trial by another New Zealander, Dick Quax. The two men will be leaving later this month for a short European tour to prepare them for Montreal. Walker's main rival for the Olympic title may be Filbert Bayi, of Tanzania. Bayi set the present 1500 metres world record of 3.32 in New Zealand in 1974. Walker finished second in that race but he believes he's now far stronger, more mature and confident of beating Bayi.