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Elizabeth Cuthbert

Australian athlete Elizabeth Cuthbert was born on April 20, 1938. At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, she won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Betty Cuthbert began sprinting in high school. At age 18, with the 1956 Summer Olympics to be held in Melbourne, Cuthbert set a World Record in the 200 m, making her a big favourite for a gold in that event. Cuthbert first reached the final of the 100 m, while the Australian World Record holder Shirley Strickland de la Hunty was eliminated in the heats. Cuthbert won the final and was now the big favourite for the 200 m title. She lived up to the expectations, and became the Australian "Golden Girl". A third gold medal for Cuthbert came when she ran the final leg on in the 4 x 100 m final, which the Australian team won in a new World Record.

Cuthbert also competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics, but disappointed when she was eliminated in the heats of the 100 m; subsequently, she retired from the sports.

Her retirement didn't last long, for she returned at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth. Afterwards, she concentrated on the 400 m, and competed in that event in the 1964 Summer Olympics, when it was on the Olympic program for the first time. Though not impressive in the heats, Cuthbert won the title for her fourth Olympic gold medal, beating Anne Packer of Great Britain into second. She subsequently retired from the sport.



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