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Paul Nihill

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameVincent Paul•Nihill
Used namePaul•Nihill
Born5 September 1939 in Colchester, Essex, England (GBR)
Died15 December 2020 in Gillingham, Kent, England (GBR)
Measurements180 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsSurrey Walking Club / Croydon and Medway
NOC Great Britain

Biography

When he competed in the 20 kilometres walk at Montréal in 1976, Paul Nihill became the first British male track and field athlete to compete in four Olympics.

A member of the Surrey Walking Club, Nihill took part in his first walking race on 7 October 1956. He went on to win seven Surrey county walking titles at 2 miles/3000 km between 1963-71 and between 1965-75 won four AAAs titles. Losing by less than 19 seconds to Italy’s Abdon Parmich of Italy in the 50km at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was the highlight of Nihill’s career until 1969, when he went one better and won the 20km gold medal at the European Championships at Athina (Athens). He added a 20km bronze at Helsinki two years later.

One of the all-time greats of British race walking, Nihill continued race walking into his 70s. He was a former president of the Race Walking Association, and was also secretary of both the Kent, and Croydon ex-boxers associations. He was also a DJ on a local radio station, specialising in 1950s rock’n roll music, of which he had both a vast knowledge and record collection. Nihill suffered from dementia in later life and spent time in a specialist care home until contracting COVID-19, which eventually claimed his life.

Personal Bests: 20kmW – 1-24:50 (1972); 50kmW – 4-11:31 (1964).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Paul Nihill
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Paul Nihill
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) AC
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Paul Nihill
20 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 6
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 9
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Paul Nihill
20 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 30

Special Notes