Source: The Mercury, 15 January, 1997, p.60
THE bold display of running by Damon Court and others in a 1500m inter-club race at Friends Oval last weekend has prompted thoughts of a Tasmanian one day breaking the once magical four- minute-mile barrier. The great Kiwi John Walker did it in 1983 but no local runner has come close, except Commonwealth Games finalist Randal Markey who ran 4.00.9 in 1974. The Bill Barwick Mile, which is the Tasmanian championship, on March 8 is the only opportunity and, back on the newly resurfaced Domain track, anything is possible. (The imperial mile is now measured as 1609.34m.) The previous two winners of the race, John White and Leighton Kearney, were well outside the four- minute mark. But if local middle-distance runners get together with a hot early pace it is possible. Court ran a smart 3.56 for 1500m at Friends and placegetters Michael Chettle and Dean Giblin also did well after a fast pace set by Farouk Amouche. All three are best known at longer distances and Court can clearly run a bit faster on the Domain track. Kearney White and Dylan Forbes have been showing good form and, like Amouche, are capable of getting close to the I magical mark. But if it happens, Brendan Hanigan may be the man. Hanigan is nearly ready to resume his career after missing the Olympics with chronic achilles tendon injuries. He will not be in top shape just yet but with a couple of months' work he is clearly good enough to break four minutes. Hanigan twice won the Olympic Dream 1500m in Melbourne in comparable time to a four-minute mile.
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