Sport: Faster, Fastest

The 9,000 track fans in the stands at Turku, Finland stirred unhappily at the announcement: both California's Don Bowden, first American miler to crack four minutes (3:58.7), and New Jersey's Tom Courtney, world record holder in the half-mile (1:46.8), were passing up the 1,500-meter event. The crowd had come out to see the Americans and Scandinavians push each other to a new record on the fast, hard-packed track where Australia's John Landy set the mile record of 3:58 in 1954. Fidgeting, the fans sat back to watch the Scandinavians go it alone.

They saw...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!