Heritage Plaque - John Landy
Plaque name: John Landy
Location: John Landy Athletic Field, 230 Swanston St, South Geelong VIC 3220, Australia
Plaque awarded: 18/02/2023
Reason: Plaque Category – Legend
John Landy (1930 to 2022) 1956 Olympic bronze medallist and former world 1500m and mile record-holder, is best known for becoming the second man in history to break four minutes for the mile. His 3:58.0 clocking in Turku in June 1954 broke the iconic mark of 3:59.4 achieved just six weeks earlier by Roger Bannister. His 3:41.8 split at 1500m was a world record as well – an extra world mark by way of compensation for not being the first to break four.
The stage was set for an epic meeting at the Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver with Bannister. Landy ran 3:59.6. Trouble was, Bannister closed-down a 15-metre lead on the third lap and got past on the final bend to win in 3:58.8.
Landy was the face of the 1956 Melbourne Games. In the Olympic 1500m final he sat well back in the field going into the last lap. He flew home, passing all but two runners on the final straight. Delany, using his finishing speed from much closer to the front of the pack, won decisively in 3:41.2. Germany’s Klaus Richtzenhain just held Landy off for second, both recording 3:42.0.