- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
- SA duo struggle at Tokyo Marathon
- Le Clos leads the way at SA Grand Prix in Stellenbosch
- SA women lead but go down to England in Summer Series
- Rain delay shortens Joburg Open still further
- SA’s Van Dyk in the Tokyo mix… chasing world record
Pharson right on time
- Updated: May 1, 2011
Ask anyone in athletics circles about Pharson Magagane and they will likely tell you he’s a pretty good 1500m runner. In fact his average time for the metric mile is 3min 40.62sec.
But now Pharson Magagane has a rather unusual distinction ÔÇô he is only the second athlete in the history of the sport to have clocked an exact 4-min mile outdoors, since the inception of electronic timing.
The 25-year-old from Limpopo was timed at exactly four minutes to the mile when finished second behind Ruben Ramolefi (3:59.69) at the Yellow Pages meeting in Bellville earlier this year ÔÇô and sent the statisticians in a frenzy to find out of this had happened before ÔÇô anywhere in the world.
The request went out to the ATFS (Association of Track and Field Statisticians) to determine if anyone in the history of the sport had run exactly four minutes for the mile. The ATFS were stumped, as they only record sub 4-minute mile recordings.
It was left to Finnish statistician Mirko Jalava (author of the website Tilastopaja) to find the information. According to him, Magagane is the only athlete to ever run a 4-minute dead mile since the inception of electronic timing. According to Jalava there are five athletes in world athletics who have the exact 4-minute mile.
The first athlete on record to clock an exact 4minute mile was Italy’s Gianni Del Buono ┬áwhen he clocked 4:00.0 indoors in Inglewood California on 9 February 1973. In 1996 two athletes were clocked (hand time) with a 4min mile — Brandon Bethke in Wellington, USA 26 February, and Gary Lough in Cheltenham on 4 August.
Uganda’s Julius Achon ran 4:00.00 indoors in Allston, Massachusetts (Harvard Univ) on 26 January 1997. This means that Magagane has the distinction of being the first ever athlete to record a legitimate outdoor time of 4:00:00.