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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 3 (June 1, 1939)

Another “Mile of the Century.”

Another “Mile of the Century.”

America seems to be developing the habit of staging a “Mile of the Century” each year. The memorable meeting between Jack Lovelock, of New Zealand and Glenn Cunningham and other American milers, will be in the minds of many when Sydney Wooderson, holder of the one-mile and halfmile world records, meets Cunningham and other American milers at Princeton, New Jersey, on June 17th. Wooderson will have youth on his side and should be favoured to win, but I have never been enthusiastic about his performances—his best runs have been made in special paced efforts—and if Cunningham is in form I would prefer him to beat the Englishman.

Much has been said—and more will undoubtedly follow—about the Englishman's task of beating a team of Americans who will be working together. I think this suggestion too puerile to warrant serious notice. Lovelock found the Americans were keen to score an individual victory—in marked contrast to what happened thirty years ago—and won on his merits.

Wooderson's lack of class competition in regular competition, his “spoonfeeding” in paced races and the experience of the American milers in hard racing will all act against the bespectacled Englishman, who, lacking Lovelock's uncanny judgment of pace, will have a most difficult task to perform if he is to win the “Mile of the Century—1939 Edition.”