‘Athletics legend’, Sir Murray Halberg, dies at 89

‘Athletics legend’, Sir Murray Halberg, dies at 89. One of the greatest athletes from New Zealand in history, Sir Murray Halberg, has passed away.

The New Zealand Herald has reported that Halberg died at age 89.

Halberg is best known for winning the gold medal in the 5000-meter race at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He also won gold in the three-mile race at the Commonwealth Games in 1958 and 1962.

He was the first Kiwi to run a mile in under four minutes.

Halberg was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to athletics in the 1961 New Year’s Honours.

After his sporting career, Halberg founded The Halberg Trust, which now goes by the name Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and continues to encourage young athletes with impairments.

In honor of him and in recognition of his contributions to sport and disabled children, the Halberg Awards, New Zealand’s most illustrious sports honors, bear his name.

For his contributions to disadvantaged children and sports, he was knighted in 1988.

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Who is Sir Murray Halberg?

An Olympic gold medalist in the 5000-meter race in 1960, Sir Murray Gordon Halberg was a middle-distance runner from New Zealand.

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Additionally, he won gold medals in the 3-mile competitions at the Commonwealth Games in 1958 and 1962. Since creating the Halberg Trust in 1963, he has worked to improve the lives of kids with disabilities.

Biography of Sir Murray Halberg

Halberg, who was born on July 7th, 1933, in Ekethuna, later relocated to Auckland, where he went to Avondale College. In his younger years, he played rugby, but a serious injury during a match caused his left arm to become withered. The following year, he started running, ostensibly spurred on only by his impairment. He first met Arthur Lydiard, his coach, in 1951. Lydiard, a well-known long-distance runner, had innovative ideas about how athletes should be trained. Halberg finally made it, taking home his first senior national championship three years later.

He finished fifth in the mile at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He finished eleventh in the 1500-meter race at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. At the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Halberg won the gold medal in the three-mile race. Later that year, he became the first New Zealander to run a mile in under four minutes. He was named 1958’s New Zealand Sportsman of the Year.

Sir Murray Halberg Obituary

Halberg focused on the longer distances for the 1960 Rome Olympics, competing in the 5000 and 10000 m. On the same day that countryman Peter Snell won the 800 m, Halberg won the gold in the 5000 m. Later, Halberg finished fifth in the 10,000 meters.

The Sir Murray Halberg-inspired Halberg House at Hutt International Boys’ School awards its students “meter points,” which are tied to Sir Murray Halberg’s track career. Sir Murray Halberg was also honored with a home at Tauranga Boys’ College. In honor of Halberg, a street in the Chartwell neighborhood of Hamilton is called Halberg Crescent.

On November 30, 2022, Halberg passed away at the age of 89.

Sir Murray Halberg’s wife and children.

Sir Murray Halberg was married to his wife Phyllis. He has 2 children with his wife Phyllis.