It was an event dominated throughout its existence by England, France and Belgium, until New Zealand broke the stranglehold with its dominant performance.
The world crosscountry championships were then the biggest event in athletics outside of the Olympic Games. World and Olympic champions were left in the wake of the New Zealanders. It was, said renowned coach Arthur Lydiard, undoubtedly an exceptional result.
The New Zealand team comprised:
- John Walker (4th)
- Euan Robertson (5th)
- Dave Sirl (25th)
- John Dixon (26th)
- John Sheddan (33rd)
- Bryan Rose (34th)
- Jack Foster (36th)
- Kevin Ryan (71st)
- Dick Quax (91st).
The first six placings counted toward the team total, but even the non-counters contributed by adding to the scores of opposing teams.
It was one of the greatest team results in New Zealand sport.