1938 Athletics competition

1938 Athletics competition
Cinesound Movietone Productions
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This newsreel features highlights from the athletics competition at the 1938 Empire Games: the men's and women's 100 yards sprint finals, high jump and broad (long) jump.

English sprinter Cyril Holmes wins the men's 100 yards in 9.7 seconds with John Mumford from Australia second and compatriot Ted Best third. Decima Norman wins the women's 100 yards final with a time of 11.1 seconds, only one-tenth of a second behind the then world record. Decima had to run the heats, semis and final of the 100 yards all on the same day!

In the high jump, eventual gold medal winner Edwin Thacker from South Africa demonstrates the 'western roll' technique with a leap of 1.96 metres. Australian high jumper Doug Shetliffe, shown here failing in his attempt, took home the bronze. His compatriot, Robert Heffernan, won the silver. The 'western roll' replaced the 'scissor kick' but was in turn replaced by the 'Fonsbury Flop' style from the late 1960s as the standard high jump technique.

The broad jump (long jump) was Australian Decima Norman's least-favoured event. Decima's fourth attempt equalled the Australian record and with the gold medal secured she leapt a personal best of just over 19 feet (5.80 metres), smashing the Empire record. Decima won five gold medals at the 1938 games, which remains the most successful Australian athletics performance at a single games.