27 Dec 2018

Kiwi runner Bill Baillie has died

7:20 pm on 27 December 2018

New Zealand distance running great Bill Baillie has died aged 84.

Former Olympic athlete Bill Baillie.

Former New Zealand olympic runner Bill Baillie Photo: Photosport

Baillie, who once held the world records over both the 20,000 metres and one hour, died on Christmas Day morning in Auckland.

Both of Baillie's records are still the best over 20 thousand metres and one hour by a New Zealander.

A member of the original group mentored by famous New Zealand running coach Arthur Lydiard, Baillie finished sixth in the 5000 metres at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

He also competed in four Empire and Commonwealth Games and won 12 national titles over a range of distances, emphasising the versatility he was renowned for throughout his career.

Part of the golden era of athletics in New Zealand alongside the likes of Sir Peter Snell, Sir Murray Halberg and John Davies, Baillie's greatest achievement came in August, 1963, at the Lovelock Track in the Auckland suburb of Mt Roskill.

Baillie set both his world records on that day, breaking the previous marks set by Czech runner Emil Zatopek, a four-time Olympic gold medallist.

Baillie was inducted into the New Zealand Sport Hall of Fame in 2011.