Marise Chamberlain
Inducted in 1995
Marise Chamberlain was undoubtedly an athlete ahead of her time.
Sporting Category:
  • Athletics
She was among the fastest in the world over 400 and 800 metres (and for a time was the fastest over 400 and the second-fastest over 800) but this was when such races for women were rarely on international programmes.

Chamberlain equalled the world 400 metres and 440 yards records in 1957 and set a new world 440 yards mark in 1958. In 1961, she was second when her great rival, Australian Dixie Willis, set a world 880 yards mark. Chamberlain’s time was also inside the old record and her 800m time, 2min 1.4sec, was the best by a New Zealander until 1996.

Chamberlain finished second to Willis in the 880 yards at the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962 and was third in the 800 metres at the Tokyo Olympics.

Her bronze remains the only Olympic track event medal to be won by a New Zealand woman.

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