Marjorie Jackson to be inducted to the IAAF Hall of Fame
15 November 2013
ATHLETICS: Marjorie Jackson, the first Australian female ever to set an athletics world record, will join her equally impressive compatriot Betty Cuthbert in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Hall of Fame.
Approved for induction by the IAAF Council in Monaco overnight, Jackson joins an illustrious list of the sport’s greats including Daley Thompson, Jacki Joyner-Kersee, Marie-Jose Perec and Michael Johnson.
“This is a truly outstanding result, and I am thrilled to congratulate Marjorie on this very humbling honour on behalf of Athletics Australia,” Rob Fildes OAM, Athletics Australia President, said.
“Entry to this very exclusive club does not come easily. The very strict minimum criteria includes at least two Olympic or world titles and at least one world record, which puts into perspective how very talented she was as an athlete.
“The official induction ceremony will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco tomorrow night, and excitingly Marjorie will be there. She is joined by her13-year-old grandson and we have no doubt that she is very much looking forward to sharing the experience with her many fans in Australia when she returns.”
Jackson was the first Australian woman to set an athletics world record and also the first Australian woman to win an Olympic athletics gold medal.
At the age of 17 in 1949, she sensationally beat Fanny Blankers-Koen three times in quick succession on the Dutchwoman’s tour of Australia to earn herself the nickname ‘The Lithgow Flash.’
The following year, she equalled the 100 yards world record of 10.8, the first of her 13 official world records, and then won the 100 yard and 220 yard titles at what was then the British Empire Games, as well as two relay gold medals.
Later in 1950, she improved her 100 yard world record to 10.7 before making headlines around the world when she took 0.3 off thatmark in March 1952 with a run of 10.4 in Sydney.
At the 1952 Olympic Games in Hesinki, she had comfortable victories in the 100m and 200m. In the longer sprint, she set a world record of 23.4 in her semi-final, breaking a mark which had stood for almost 17 years.
At the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, she defended both her sprint titles and helped Australia to the 4x110 yard relay title before retiring shortly afterwards to raise a family.
Jackson was one of the eight Olympic flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She was also the Governor of South Australia between 2001 and 2007.
Another ‘Aussie’ inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame this year will be Viktor Saneyev, a long-time resident of Sydney and triple Olympic triple jump champion for the Soviet Union, who has previously worked with Athletics Australia as a consultant coach.