John Walker wins Gold in Montreal 1976

At the Montreal Olympics, Walker caused his supporters some flutters when he was eliminated early from the 800m, but in the 1500m – he was always the man to watch.

After a slow early pace in the final, he was faced with the prospect of having to outkick runners who were faster over 800m and made his bid with 300m remaining.

He grabbed the lead at about the same point Lovelock began his famous finishing burst 40 years earlier, and he had enough in hand to hold off Ivo Van Damme and Paul-Heinz Wellmann. His immediate reaction? “Relief. That came before the joy. To have been favourite and to have lived up to everyone’s expectations, including mine. The relief was fantastic. They can break your world records, but they can never take away your Olympic gold medal.”

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