1982 Marathon: Deek's golden day

1982 Marathon: Deek's golden day
Access fees

This clip from the short documentary Marathon (1983) features highlights from Robert de Castella's running of the marathon at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

'Deek' was the favourite to win the marathon in Brisbane. The marathon at the Commonwealth Games frequently includes the best runners in the world, since the world's best often come from Commonwealth countries such as Tanzania and Kenya. But de Castella was the current world champion and expectations were high.

After only five minutes into the race, Tanzanians Gidamis Shahanga and Juma Ikangaa were already 50 metres ahead of the other runners. After 20 kilometres, the gap had widened to several hundred metres. Ikangaa then took the lead from his compatriot, with de Castella in the main pack some 250 metres behind. He passed Shahanga at the 38 kilometre mark, and with only a few kilometres left in the race he drew level with the clearly surprised Ikangaa.

The two runners then swapped the lead several times in one of the most memorable battles in marathon history.  De Castella finally won by 80 metres in a time of 2:09:18, 12 seconds ahead of Ikangaa. Mike Gratton of England finished in third place. It was an extraordinary victory.