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'I was the youngest four-minute miler in the world, I had enormous speed and enormous self-belief'

Sixty-five years on, the magic of Melbourne is still vivid for golden legend Ronnie Delany who was recently immortalised with a statue unveiled in his hometown of Arklow

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Ireland's Ronnie Delany winning gold in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics 1,500.

Ireland's Ronnie Delany winning gold in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics 1,500.

Ireland's Ronnie Delany winning gold in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics 1,500.

This is the week when the phone will always ring: friends, relatives, journalists, reaching out to Ronnie Delany to relive the day, the race, that made him an Irish sporting immortal. Sure enough, the calls came again yesterday, plenty of them, on the 65th anniversary of his Olympic triumph.

Delany is 86 now, but he can recall with crystal clarity those three minutes and 40 seconds at the Melbourne Games in 1956. With every passing year, a new story will come to him from someone whose life he impacted, uplifted, from the other side of the world. If he’s sick of hearing them then he doesn’t show it. If he’s sick of telling us the tale of that Olympic final, then he certainly doesn’t seem it.


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