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Maureen Gardner

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameMaureen Angela Jane•Gardner (-Dyson)
Used nameMaureen•Gardner
Born12 November 1928 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England (GBR)
Died2 September 1974 in Southampton, Southampton, England (GBR)
Measurements172 cm / 59 kg
AffiliationsOxford LAC, Oxford (GBR)
NOC Great Britain

Biography

Maureen Gardner was agonizingly beaten in a photo-finish in the 80 metres hurdles final at the 1948 Olympics by Fanny Blankers-Koen. Both athletes were at the time credited with hand-timed world and Olympic records of 11.2 seconds.

Gardner was the WAAA 100 yards champion in 1946, and that year was fifth in the European Championship 100 and fourth in the sprint relay. She was second in the WAAA 100 in 1947, but won four more titles, all in the sprint hurdles, in 1947-48 and 1950-51. In the last of those years, she won a hurdles silver medal at the Europeans, again being deprived by Blankers-Koen. Gardner was by then competing as Maureen Dyson after marrying Geoffrey Dyson, her coach and former AAA chief coach, shortly after the 1948 Olympics. Gardner was in training for the 1952 Olympics, but retired from the sport in the autumn of 1951 when it was discovered she was expecting her second child.

Gardner only took up athletics after contracting pleurisy and pneumonia and being advised to join the Oxford Ladies Athletic Club to regain her strength. She proved a natural sprinter and, in 1945, at the age of 16, won the Oxfordshire 100- and 220-yard titles. Before taking up athletics, Gardner, the daughter of an Oxfordshire police officer, trained as a ballet dancer and, during the war, commuted from her home to the Royal Academy of Dance in London. She later founded and developed children’s ballet schools in Oxford, London, Winchester and Ottawa, during a spell living in Canada in the early 1960s. Shortly before her untimely death at the age of 45, she was an overseas examiner for the Royal Academy of Dancing.

Personal Bests: 100 – 12.1 (1947); 80H – 11.2 (1948).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Maureen Gardner
80 metres Hurdles, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 4

Special Notes