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Cecil Griffiths

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameCecil Richmond•Griffiths
Used nameCecil•Griffiths
Born20 January 1901 in Worcester, Worcestershire, England (GBR)
Died29 July 1973 in Great Barrington, Gloucestershire, England (GBR)
AffiliationsSurrey AC, Kingston-upon-Thames (GBR)
NOC Great Britain

Biography

Nineteen-year-old Cecil Griffiths of Surrey AC is the only British junior track & field athlete to have won an Olympic gold medal. Although illness forced him to withdraw from the individual 400 metres at the 1920 Olympics, he ran a brilliant opening leg in the 4×400 metre relay, handing over to Robert Lindsay well clear of the rest of the field. This enabled Britain to avoid the melee involving Sweden, South Africa, France and the USA at the first change-over and the team went on to a comfortable victory.

Cecil Griffiths finished third in the AAA 440 yards three times but in 1922 he decided to concentrate on the half-mile and developed into a remarkably consistent performer. From 1922 to 1927 he never finished out of the first three at the AAA Championships, winning the title in 1923 and 1925. This record, when taken with his earlier performance at 440 yards, meant that he was placed in an AAA Championship event for nine successive years.

Griffiths’ great race was at the 1926 AAA Championships when the German Otto Peltzer and Douglas Lowe both beat James “Ted” Meredith’s world record of 1:52.2 seconds. Griffiths finished a commendable but almost unnoticed third in an estimated 1:53.4 seconds which, had it not been for Lowe finishing ahead of him, would have been the fastest half-mile ever run by a British athlete.

Personal Bests: 220y – 22.9 (1921); 440y – 49.8 (1921); 880y – 1:53.1e (1926); 1000 – 2:31.8 (1925); Mile – 4:25.4 (1922).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Cecil Griffiths
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 1 Gold