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Peter Snell

Full name: Peter George Snell
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (179 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Born: December 17, 1938 in Opunake, Taranaki, New Zealand
Title: Sir
Affiliations: Auckland
Country: NZL New Zealand
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 3 Gold (3 Total)

Biography

Three-time Olympic champion and world record-holder, Peter Snell is one of New Zealand's greatest sports achievers, and some say the greatest. He was little-known outside of Auckland when he went to the Rome Olympics in 1960 but he became an instant national celebrity when he won the 800 metres, an hour before training partner Murray Halberg also won Olympic gold. Both were coached by Arthur Lydiard. Two years later, Snell set a world mile record in Wanganui and a week later set new world marks in Christchurch for the 800 metres and 880 yards. Later the same year, he won the mile and 880 yards at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, but was eliminated in the heats of the 4×440 yards relay (with Barry Robinson, Dave Norris, and the non-Olympian Gary Philpott). In 1964, he successfully defended his Olympic 800 metres title and won the 1500 metres as well. In November 1964, he set world records for the 1000 metres and the mile and retired in 1965. Snell moved to live in the United States in the 70s where he gained a doctorate and he has been director of the Human Performance Centre at the University of Texas since 1990. Snell in 2000 was voted New Zealand's Sports Champion of the 20th Century. He was made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 and is now known as Sir Peter Snell.

Personal Bests: 800 – 1:44.3 (1962); 1500 – 3:37.6 (1964).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Men's 800 metres New Zealand NZL 1 Gold OR
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Men's 800 metres New Zealand NZL 1 Gold OR
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Men's 1,500 metres New Zealand NZL 1 Gold

Men's 800 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics New Zealand Final 1 OR 1:46.3 1:46.48
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics New Zealand Semi-Finals Heat Two 1 QU 1:47.2 1:47.34
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics New Zealand Quarter-Finals Heat Four 2 QU 1:48.6 1:48.84
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics New Zealand Round One Heat Three 1 QU 1:48.1 1:48.22
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Final 1 OR 1:45.1
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 1:46.9
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Round One Heat Four 1 QU 1:49.0

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Final 1 3:38.1
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 3:38.8
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics New Zealand Round One Heat Three 4 QU 3:46.8
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