Did Ann Packer set a world record when winning the 800 metres Olympic gold medal?
Madeline Edmonds, Cradley Heath
JUDGE: Ann, a silver medallist in her speciality event of the 400
metres in the 1964 Tokyo Olinpics, won the 800 metres in a then world
record 2 m 1.1 s. She was a virtual novice at the event. As she ran
through the finishing line she ended up in the arms of her future
husband Robbie Brightwell, who was captain of the British men's team.
How old was Mary Decker when she first competed in international athletics?
Emily Spring, Bexleyheath
JUDGE: Mary Decker (later Mary Slaney after marriage to British discus
thrower Richard Slaney) was at 14 years 224 days, the youngest ever US
intemational, when she ran the indoor mile for the USA against the USSR
in 1973. In the same year she won the 800 metres against the Soviets.
It was the start of a long running career in which she set 22 US
records at distances from 800 metres to 10,000 metres despite a
succession of injury problems. She famously tripped in a collision with
Zola Budd when favourite for the 3,000 metres in the 1984 Olympics.
Did Jonathan Edwards compete in the 1991 World Championships?
Douglas Wade, Brighton
THE JUDGE: No.
He is a committed Christian, and missed the championships because the
final was on a Sunday. He has since come to terms with competing on the
Sabbath. Kenny Harrison won the 1991 World Championship final, and he
beat Edwards to the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Jonathan won the gold medal in Sydney in 2000 and completed a clean
sweep of major championship golds when he won the Commonwealth Games
gold medal in Manchester on Sunday July 28 2002.
Who was the first man to throw the javelin more than 90 metres in competition?
R. Cameron, Huddersfield
JUDGE: Germany's Klaus Wolfermann threw the javelin 94.08 m on 5 May
1973, and when on 20 July 1984 East German Uwe Holin reached 104.80 m
it was decided that for safety reasons the specifications had to be
changed. Steve Backley reached 90.98 m with a new javelin on 20 July
1990 but its roughened surface brought a quick withdrawal and Backley's
previous throw of 89.58 m was recognised as the new world record. It
was Backley who was first through the 90 m barrier with the newly
accepted javelin in New Zealand on 25 January 1992 when he reached a
distance of 91.46 m. Czech Jan Zelezny then became the undisputed
master with a procession of throws over 95 m.
True or false: Linford Christie was born in St Andrews, Scotland?
George McDonald, Gateshead
THE JUDGE: Christie
was born in St Andrews - Jamaica not Scotland. He came to England as a
boy and began his athletics career with Thames Valley Harriers.
Which long-distance runner had the nickname 'Puff Puff'?
Eddie Phillips, Harwich
JUDGE: Gordon Pirie was known as 'Puff Puff' because of the way he used
to blow out his cheeks while running. He puffed through more miles than
almost any other runner in history, setting 24 British records at
distances from 2,000 metres to 10,000 metres. His peak years were
between 1953 and 1955 when he set eight world records.
True or false: Entertainer Bobby Davro's father was a champion miler?
Sam Hawkins, Wealdstone
THE JUDGE: True.
His name is Bill Nankeville, and he won the AAA mile title four time in
five years between 1948 and 1952. It was Roger Bannister who
interrupted the run of success in 1951. Nankeville competed for the Old
Woking Athletic Club in Surrey before switching to Walton. He finished
sixth in the 1948 Olympic 1500 metres final in London. His son, Robert
Nankeville, decided that he needed to change his name when going into
show business because he wanted it to fit on the theatre bills!