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Bill Baillie admitted to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame

Bill Baillie joins 28 others from the sport of athletics in being inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

Bill Baillie Hall of Fame

Bill Baillie Hall of Fame

Baillie, now 76, was admitted at the Halberg Awards dinner in Auckland on Thursday evening and his induction certificate was presented by Sir Murray Halberg.

He said that the entry into the Hall of Fame gave him great satisfaction.

“After many years it’s a great honour to me and I look back at the people who are in there and to join them is good and to be part of Michael Jones tonight at the same time being inducted is tremendous – couldn’t be a better night,” said Baillie.

“It caps a career spanning 45 to 50 years and it’s been good we’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment and a lot of success and a lot of heart breaks as well too, always have your heart breaks along with the successes.

“Murray Halberg – we’ve been great friends over the years and for Murray to present it to me was really something I couldn’t have wished for anyone higher to do it,” he added.

Baillie has been described as the iron man of New Zealand running. He was one of Arthur Lydiard’s boys and he remains one of only six New Zealand men to hold a world record ratified by the IAAF. In 1963, Baillie broke the world records for 20,000 metres and the one hour set in 1951 by Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia. (Previous holders of those records were Paavo Nurmi and Hannes Kolehmainen). In 1959, he set a world’s best (records were not then recognised) for a marathon on an out and back course of 2h 20m 13s. He competed for New Zealand at Olympic and Empire Games between 1954 and 1966 over distances ranging from 880 yards to 10,000 metres. In 1964, when he was concentrating on the 5000m and 10,000m, he broke four minutes for the mile, 3m 59.2s in Wanganui on 1 February 1964. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games he finished sixth in the 5000m.

Baillie won 15 New Zealand titles; 880yards (2), mile (2), 3 mile (1), 6 miles (7), cross country (2), road (1).

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