László Tábori

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLászló•Tábori (Talabircsuk-)
Used nameLászló•Tábori
Born6 July 1931 in Košice, Košice (SVK)
Died23 May 2018 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements175 cm / 61 kg
AffiliationsBHSE, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary


Born László Talabircsuk, László Tábori claimed he learned to run in World War II, when he stole food from German soldiers and ran for his escape. He joined the Honvéd Club after the war, training under Mihály Igloi, and made the world lists for the first time in 1954. Tábori left the Army in 1955 and began work in a leather factory, but it was that year that he emerged as a world leader. He became the third man (after Roger Bannister and John Landy) to break 4-minutes for the mile, recording 3:59.0 to beat Britons Chris Chataway and Brian Hewson, who followed him under four minutes. In Oslo, on 6 September 1955, he equaled the world record of 3:40.8 for 1,500 metres, set by his countryman Sándor Iharos. At Melbourne he had to race shortly after the Soviet invasion of his country, and all the Hungarian performances suffered.

After the Olympics he defected to the United States with Igloi, where he ran through the 1962 season. He was second in the 5K at the 1954 World University Games and in the USA was AAU Champion at 5,000 metres in 1961 and second at 5,000 in 1958 and 1,500 in 1960. He worked as a wheelchair designer and began coaching the San Fernando Valley Track Club, later opening a running shoe store.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:40.8 (1955); Mile – 3:59.0 (1955); 5000 – 13:52.6 (1960).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics HUN László Tábori
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 6

Special Notes