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Don Finlay

Full name: Donald Osborne "Don" Finlay
Gender: Male
Height: 5-11.5 (182 cm)
Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)
Born: May 27, 1909 in Christchurch, Dorset, Great Britain
Died: April 18, 1970 in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain
Affiliations: Royal Air Force, (GBR) / Milocarian Athletic Club, (GBR) / Surrey AC, Kingston-upon-Thames (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze (2 Total)

Biography

In 16 international dual meets, Don Finlay only lost two hurdles races: to Lord Burghley in 1931 (vs. Italy) and to John Thornton in 1937 (vs. Germany). He won a bronze medal at the 1932 Olympics, a silver in 1936, but fell in the heats at his third Olympics in 1948. He won the British Empire Games high hurdles in 1934 and the European Championships in 1938. In 1949, at the age of 40, he won his eighth AAA title (1932-38, 1949) and he was the AAA indoor champion in 1937 and 1938. After placing fourth at the 1950 British Empire Games, he finally retired from international competition. His 14.4 for 120yH in 1949 remained a British masters record throughout the century. Don Finlay set numerous UK records in the high hurdles but was also an accomplished performer in other events. He was the Inter-Services champion in the long jump and made his international début in that event. He ran the 4x100 relay at the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games and was the RAF champion in the high jump. He was a useful shot putter and could undoubtedly have been the leading British decathlete of his era. His 23 appearances for Great Britain stood as a record until beaten by Peter Hildreth in 1957. Finlay had a distinguished career in the Royal Air Force, winning the DFC and AFC as a fighter pilot and retiring with the rank of Group Captain. He was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident which led to his death.

Personal Bests: 110H – 14.1w (1937), 14.3 (1938); HJ – 1.83 (6-0) (1938); LJ – 6.96 (22-10¼) (1938); SP – 11.68 (38-3¾) (1937); JT – 43.23 (141-10) (1937).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 110 metres Hurdles Great Britain GBR 3 Bronze
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay Great Britain GBR 6
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Men's 110 metres Hurdles Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay Great Britain GBR 4 h2 r1/2
1948 Summer 39 London Athletics Men's 110 metres Hurdles Great Britain GBR AC h5 r1/3

Men's 110 metres Hurdles

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Great Britain Final 3 14.8 14,74 2
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 3 QU 14,6
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Great Britain Round One Heat Two 1 QU 14.8 14.84
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Great Britain Final 2 14.4 1
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat Two 1 QU 14.5
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Great Britain Round One Heat Three 1 QU 14.7
1948 Summer 39 London Athletics Great Britain Round One Heat Five AC DNF

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) L
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Great Britain GBR Final 6 41.4 6
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Great Britain GBR Round One Heat One 3 QU 42.0
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Two 4 42.4
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