Quartet of stars inducted to Athletics Australia Hall of Fame
24 October 2014
ATHLETICS: In celebration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame was established to recognise the outstanding achievements of Australia's truly great athletes across the course of this history and since then more than 35 people have been added to the illustrious list.
Formally inducted as part of Athlete of the Year Awards last night were Louise Sauvage and Jennifer Lamy, with Darren Clark and Lisa Ondieki also to be included on the honour roll for 2014. The quartet join the likes of Catherine Freeman, Betty Cuthbert and Ron Clarke on the illustrious list.
JENNIFER LAMY (28 Feb 1949 - )
Jenny Lamy was born in Wagga Wagga before moving to Sydney in 1953 where her athletic career began in the 1960’s. Her first club was Manly but she later transferred to Northern Suburbs where she competed for most of her athletic career.
Jenny Lamy, third, and Raelene Boyle, second, pushed the great Irena Szewinska (nee Kirszenstein) from Poland to an equal world record in the 200m at Mexico City 1968. Lamy and Boyle then teamed with Joyce Bennett and Diane Burge (nee Bowring) to finish a creditable fifth in the 4x100m relay in a time that bettered the pre-Olympics world record. Whilst only competing at one Olympics, Lamy was part of the victorious women's sprint relay teams at the Empire and Commonwealth Games at Kingston 1966, Edinburgh 1970 and Christchurch 1974.
DARREN CLARK (6 Sep 1965 - )
Darren Clark was born in Sydney and from a very early age showed promise as a sprinter. His first national appearance was in the 1980 All-Schools Championships in Sydney where he finished sixth in the U17 200 metres in 22.81 secs. The following year in Brisbane, still competing in the U17s he made a mark for the first time - winning the sprint double in 10.89 and 21.88 secs and was second over 400m in 49.16.
Few Australians can claim what Darren Clark achieved on the Olympic stage. The Australian 400m specialist finished just off the podium on three occasions- finishing fourth in the 400m and 4x400m at the Los Angeles 1984 Games and fourth in the 400m final at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Clark still holds the 400m national record with a time of 44.38 set in the Seoul semi-final.
Clark also holds the national 4x400m record with Los Angeles teammates Bruce Frayne, Gary Minihan and Rick Mitchell. The Australian quartet’s time of 2:59.70 was faster than that of the Australian team who later took the silver medal in the 4x400m at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 (3:00.60).
LISA FRANCES (O’DEA) ONDIEKI (12 May 1960 - )
Lisa was born in Gawler, South Australia and began athletics as a sprint hurdler. She was a champion schoolgirl athlete and competed for Enfield Harriers in Adelaide.
Ondieki remains the only Australian to win an Olympic medal in the marathon. The four-time Olympian won the silver medal at Seoul in 1988, confirming her status as one of the best distance runners of her generation. Ondieki competed in the first four women's marathons held at the Olympics, starting in 1984 and ending her Games run in 1996. Other than her silver medal, her next best result was seventh in 1984. Ondieki also won two Commonwealth Games marathon gold medals, as well as a number of famous road events including the New York Marathon and Osaka Marathon. Her Australian record in the event, set in 1988, remained unchallenged for 18 years until it was finally broken by Benita Johnson in 2006
ALIX “LOUISE” SAUVAGE OAM (18 Sep 1973 - )
Louise was born in Perth, Western Australia with a congenital spinal condition called myelomeningocele. By the age of ten she had endured 21 operations.
From an early age her parents encouraged her to participate in sports. She started swimming at three years of age and began competing in wheelchair sports from age eight. At ten she became the youngest ever athlete in the National Senior Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Games in Sydney. At age 15 she took up wheelchair racing – a decision which eventually saw her became one of the world’s greatest in the discipline.
In 1990 Louise competed in her first IPC World Championships in Assen, Netherlands and won gold in the 100 metres in a new world record. Unfortunately she was disqualified for a lane violation in the 200 metres after also crossing the line first. In the same year she won five gold medals at the Stoke Mandeville Games in England.
Athletics Australia & AOC