Athletics News

This Day in Track & Field History, May 9, 2024, Hellen Obiri impresses over 3000m in Doha (2014), by Walt Murphy News and Results Service

A view of Athletics, number 6: Nurmi’s five gold medals from the Paris 2024 Olympics to be on show during this summer’s Games in French capital

Walt Murphy is one of the finest track geeks that I know. Walt does #ThisDayinTrack&FieldHistory, an excellent daily service that provides true geek stories about our sport. You can check out the service for FREE with a free one-month trial subscription! (email: ) for the entire daily service. We will post a few historic moments each day, beginning February 1, 2024.

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By Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service (, used with permission.

This Day in Track & Field-May 9


1925–From the NY Times Archives: “Paavo Nurmi and his American trainer and adviser, Hugo Quist, along with Willie Ritola, a Finnish-American A.C. distance runner, were exonerated in the Amateur Athletic Union’s investigation of the charges of demanding excessive expenses for competitions in the Middle West, according to the decision of the A.A.U. committee that investigated the charges, made public yesterday by Secretary Frederick W. Rubien, who is also chairman of the A.A.U.”

Paavo Nurmi, photo from Wikipedia

1953—Parry O’Brien set the first of his ten official World Records in the Shot Put with his winning toss of 59-3/4 (18.00m) at the West Coast Relays in Fresno, California. Showing great concentration, O’Brien set his record just as the Fresno State marching band started playing the National Anthem.

WR Progression’s_shot_put_world_record_progression

Dallas Long, shot putter, photo by the University of Southern California

1964Dallas Long bettered his American Record in the Shot Put (65-11  ½ [20.10]) with his winning toss of 66-7  ¼ (20.30) at the West Coast Relays in Fresno, California. However, the mark was never submitted to the IAAF for World Record consideration since the throwing circle didn’t have a raised rim.


1970—The Heptagonal Championships, the annual meet that brought together the 8 Ivy League schools and teams from the U.S. Naval Academy and West Point, became known more for what happened off the track than on.

Taking place just 5 days after 4 Kent State students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen, and in the midst of anti-(Vietnam) war sentiments on campuses throughout the U.S., planned protests at the meet by some Ivy athletes led to the withdrawal of the Army and Navy teams.

Harvard captain Keith Colburn, who helped the Crimson win the team title, later wrote:…

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