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Jim Bailey

Full name: James John "Jim" Bailey
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Weight: 152 lbs (69 kg)
Born: July 21, 1929 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliations: Oregon Ducks, Eugene (USA)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Athletics


Jim Bailey was primarily a two-lap runner who won two Australian national titles in the 880 yards in 1951 and 1954. Bailey also finished ninth at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 880 yards. He then came to the United States to run at the University of Oregon, where he mostly moved up the 1,500/Mile. He won the 1955 NCAA Championship in the mile and was second in 1956, over 1,500 metres. But he ran the 800 metres at the 1956 Olympics and did not advance out of the semi-finals.

Bailey was ranked #3 in the world for the 1,500/Mile in 1956. In May of that year, a special mile race was run in conjunction with the USC-UCLA dual meet at the Los Angeles Coliseum, featuring [John Landy]. Bailey was supposed to be a rabbit for Landy during that race, but he held on to his shoulder and moved past him on the final lap to win in 3:58.6. This was the first 4-minute mile run on US soil.

Bailey returned to Australia and played professional rugby for a bit. But he later returned to the United States and lived in the Pacific Northwest for the rest of his life, initially working as a manufacturer’s rep in sportswear in Kirkland, Washington. He later moved to Bellingham, Washington where he sold real estate.

Personal Bests\: 800 – 1:48.8 (1956); 1500 – 3:43.3 (1956); Mile – 3:58.6 (1956).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 27 Melbourne Athletics Men's 800 metres Australia AUS 7 h2 r2/3

Men's 800 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1956 Summer 27 Melbourne Athletics Australia Semi-Finals Heat Two 7 1:51.4 1:51.40
1956 Summer 27 Melbourne Athletics Australia Round One Heat Three 1 QU 1:51.1 1:51.13
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