[Dinner speech by Herb Elliott, 1964].

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Tono kōrero mai

Speaking at a dinner function, Herb Elliott begins by saying it is very hard to find words to express himself and he was envious of a man he overheard talking about Don Clarke kicking a goal from the side-line, at a tremendous angle. In the last minute of game, Clarke took the crucial kick "a really magnificent kick ... at such a hell of an angle it got stuck between the goat posts". Elliot acknowledges that "I can't select my words to describe myself as well as that".
A lot of people, he says, are amazed that top class sportsmen feel nervous before competing. Before Rome, he says he had never felt so nervous and describes being a favourite in an Olympic event as "sheer hell". Arriving at the track about four or five hours before he was due to race, the stands were completely empty. He was wandering around and was approached by an old woman who recognised him and asked whether he was racing in the 1500 m later that day, and was he nervous. When he replied, “Ah, no I’m not nervous”, she said, "Well, what are you doing coming out of the ladies' toilet?"
Since coming to New Zealand, this being his first trip, he says he has heard a lot of conjecture about rugby union and rugby league, and also heard a lot of conjecture about Peter Snell and Herb Elliot in a mile race. He says nobody can predict what will happen in a race until it is run but he speculates that “myself and Australians probably think I would have won by two inches, and Peter and New Zealanders think he would have won by two inches - nobody can say, we’re all guessing”. He ends with “if our eras had been at the same time, the mile record 3:54:4 would have been around 3:50”.

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Year 1964

Reference number 236488

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Radio speeches
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Elliott, Herb, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster

Duration 00:03:29

Date 1964

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