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Tom Courtney

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas William "Tom"•Courtney
Used nameTom•Courtney
Born17 August 1933 in Newark, New Jersey (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsUS Air Force, (USA)
NOC(s) United States


Tom Courtney was a worthy successor to Mal Whitfield for both speed and consistency He won the NCAA 880y in 1955 and the AAU in 1957 and 1958. Courtney was also the top 400 m man in the world in 1956 and won the AAU in 45.6. In 1957 he set a new world 880y record of 1:46.8 and the following year he came within one tenth of a second of the world 800 m record. He won the 1956 Final Trials in a new American record of 1:46.4 and then went on to set a new Olympic record of 1:47.7 in winning the Melbourne final. Courtney won a second Olympic gold with a 45.7 anchor leg in the 4×400 metres relay. He was also a notable indoor performer and in 1957 he tied Whitfield’s world record of 1:09.5 for 600y and set three world records for the 880y on a flat indoor track. Courtney later became an attorney and worked as a corporate lawyer.

Personal Bests: 400 – 45.8 (1956); 800 – 1:45.8 (1957).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics 800 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing United States    
  4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic United States 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1956 Summer Olympics 26 November 1956 Athletics 800 metres, Men Final 1:47.7 1