1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 30 July to 7 August 1954. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952.

It was at these games that the "Miracle Mile" took place between Roger Bannister and John Landy at Empire Stadium. This was the first time these two (and at that time the only two) sub-four-minute mile runners appeared in the same race, and also the first time two runners broke four minutes in the same race. On the same afternoon, Jim Peters, the holder of the world best time for the marathon, entered the stadium 17 minutes ahead of his nearest rival, but collapsed on his final lap, and never completed the race.

The games were attended by 24 nations and 662 competitors.[1]

V British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Logo 1954 Vancouver
Host cityVancouver
Nations participating24
Athletes participating662
Opening ceremony30 July
Closing ceremony7 August
Officially opened byEarl Alexander of Tunis
Officially closed byHRH the Duke of Edinburgh
Athlete's OathBill Parnell
IV VI  >


Participating teams

Commonwealth games 1954 countries map
Countries that participated

24 teams were represented at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
(Teams competing for the first time are shown in bold).

Medal table

Bannister and Landy
Statue in Vancouver commemorating the "Miracle Mile" between Roger Bannister and John Landy

  *   Host nation (Canada)

1 England23242067
2 Australia20111748
3 South Africa1661335
4 Canada*9201443
5 New Zealand77519
6 Scotland62513
7 Southern Rhodesia2215
8 Trinidad and Tobago2204
9 Northern Ireland2103
10 Northern Rhodesia1438
11 Nigeria1337
12 Pakistan1326
13 Wales1157
14 Jamaica1001
15 Barbados0101
 Hong Kong0101
18 British Guiana0011
Totals (18 nations)928989270

Medal winners


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flyweight Men  Dick Currie (SCO)  Abe Bekker (NRH)  Warner Batchelor (AUS)
Bantamweight Men  John Smillie (SCO)  Gordon Smith (SRH)  Abubakar Idi Garuba (NGR)
Featherweight Men  Leonard Leisching (SAF)  Malcolm Collins (WAL)  Dave Charnley (ENG)
Lightweight Men  Piet van Staden (SRH)  Frank McQuillan (SCO)  Brian Cahill (AUS)
Light Welterweight Men  Mickey Bergin (CAN)  Aubrey Harris (SRH)  Des Duguid (AUS)
Welterweight Men  Nicholas Gargano (ENG)  Rodney Litzow (AUS)  Hendrik van der Linde (SAF)
Light Middleweight Men  Wilf Greaves (CAN)  Freddy Wright (NRH)  Bruce Wells (ENG)
Middleweight Men  Johannes van der Kolff (SAF)  Arthur Crawford (NRH)  Marcel Piau (CAN)
Light Heavyweight Men  Piet van Vuuren (SAF)  Tony Madigan (AUS)  Bill Misselbrook (CAN)
Heavyweight Men  Brian Harper (ENG)  Gerry Buchanan (CAN)  George Jenkins (SAF)



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Time Trial Men  Dick Ploog (AUS) 00:01:12  Keith Harrison (ENG) 00:01:13
 Alfred Swift (SAF)
Sprint Men  Cyril Peacock (ENG)  Tom Shardelow (SAF)
Individual Pursuit Men  Norman Sheil (ENG) 00:05:03  Peter Brotherton (ENG) 00:05:09  Robert Fowler (SAF) 00:05:07
10 Miles Scratch Men  Lindsay Cocks (AUS) 00:21:59  Keith Harrison (ENG)  Don Skene (WAL)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Road Race Men  Eric Thompson (ENG) 02:44:08  John Baird (NZL) NTT  Bernard Pusey (ENG) NTT


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Foil Men  René Paul (ENG)  John Fethers (AUS)  Allan Jay (ENG)
Foil – Team Men  England (ENG)  Australia (AUS)  Canada (CAN)
Épée Men  Ivan Lund (AUS)  René Paul (ENG)  Carl Schwende (CAN)
Épée – Team Men  England (ENG)  Canada (CAN)  Australia (AUS)
Sabre Men  Mike Amberg (ENG)  Ralph Cooperman (ENG)  John Fethers (AUS)
Sabre- Team Men  Canada (CAN)  England (ENG)  Australia (AUS)
Foil Women  Mary Glen-Haig (ENG)  Gillian Sheen (ENG)  Aileen Harding (WAL)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Single Sculls Men  Don Rowlands (NZL) 00:08:28  Sidney Rand (ENG) 00:08:43  Bobby Williams (CAN) 00:08:51
Double Sculls Men  Mervyn Wood & Murray Riley (AUS) 00:07:55  Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:05  Donald Guest & Lawrence Stephan (CAN) 00:08:29
Coxless Pairs Men  Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:24  Tom Christie & Nicholas Clack (ENG) 00:08:24  Dave Anderson & Geoff Williamson (AUS) 00:08:30
Coxed four men  Lionel Robberds, Dave Anderson, Peter Evatt, Geoff Williamson & Mervyn Wood (AUS) 00:07:58  Bruce Culpan, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Bill Tinnock & Stanley Callagher (NZL) 00:08:04  Geoffrey Page, Roderick Macmillan, Alastair Davidson, Maurice Legg & David Glynne-Jones (ENG) 00:08:05
Eight men  Douglas McDonald, Glen Smith, H.J. Zloklikovits, K.J. Drummond, Lawrence West, Ray Sierpina, Robert Wilson, Thomas Toynbee & Thomas Harris (CAN) 00:06:59  Alastair Davidson, Alan Watson, David Glynne-Jones, Geoffrey Page, John Pope, Joseph Eldeen, M.G.C. Savage, Maurice Legg & Roderick Macmillan (ENG) 00:07:11


Men's events

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle  Jon Henricks (AUS) 56.5  Cyrus Weld (AUS) 58.5  Rex Aubrey (AUS) 58.7
440 yd freestyle  Gary Chapman (AUS) 4:39.8  Jack Wardrop (SCO) 4:41.5  Graham Johnston (SAF) 4:43.3
1650 yd freestyle  Graham Johnston (SAF) 19:01.4  Peter Duncan (SAF) 19:22.1  Gary Chapman (AUS) 19:28.4
110 yd backstroke  John Brockway (WAL) 1:06.5  Lincoln Hurring (NZL) 1:06.9  Cyrus Weld (AUS) 1:08.6
220 yd breaststroke  Jack Doms (NZL) 2:52.6  Peter Jervis (ENG) 2:52.6  Alan Hime (ENG) 2:52.8
4×220 yd freestyle relay  Australia
David Hawkins
Gary Chapman
Jon Henricks
Rex Aubrey
8:47.6  Canada
Allan Gilchrist
George Park
Gerald McNamee
Ted Simpson
8:56.0  South Africa
Dennis Ford
Graham Johnston
Peter Duncan
Billy Steuart
3×110 yd medley relay  Australia
Cyrus Weld
David Hawkins
Jon Henricks
3:22.0  New Zealand
Frederick Lucas
Jack Doms
Lincoln Hurring
3:26.6  Scotland
Jack Wardrop
John Service
Robert Wardrop

Women's events

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle  Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 1:05.8  Virginia Grant (CAN) 1:06.3  Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:08.2
440 yd freestyle  Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 5:11.4  Gladys Priestley (CAN) 5:19.6  Margaret Girvan (SCO) 5:21.4
110 yd backstroke  Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:15.2  Pat Symons (ENG) 1:17.4  Jean Stewart (NZL) 1:17.5
220 yd breaststroke  Elenor Gordon (SCO) 2:59.2  Mary Morgan (SAF) 3:03.3  Margaret Grundy (ENG) 3:04.5
4×110 yd freestyle relay  South Africa
Felicity Loveday
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Natalie Myburgh
4:33.9  Canada
Beth Whittall
Gladys Priestley
Helen Stewart
Virginia Grant
4:37.0  England
Daphne Wilkinson
Fearne Ewart
Jean Botham
Valerie Nares-Pillow
3×110 yd medley relay  Scotland
Helen Gordon
Margaret McDowell
Margaret Girvan
3:51.0  South Africa
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Mary Morgan
3:52.7  Australia
Jann Grier
Judith Knight
Lorraine Crapp


Event Gold Silver Bronze
3 Metres Springboard Diving Men  Peter Heatly (SCO) 146.76  Tony Turner (ENG) 145.27  Jack Stewart (NZL) 144.98
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Men  Bill Patrick (CAN) 142.7  Kevin Newell (AUS) 142.06  Peter Heatly (SCO) 141.32
3 Metres Springboard Diving Women  Ann Long (ENG) 128.26  Barbara McAulay (AUS) 127.74  Irene MacDonald (CAN) 126.19
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Women  Barbara McAulay (AUS) 86.55  Eunice Miller (ENG) 79.86  Ann Long (ENG) 79.53


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Bantamweight – Overall Men  Maurice Megennis (ENG) 281  Frank Cope (ENG) 276.5  Keith Caple (AUS) 274
Featherweight – Overall Men  Rodney Wilkes (TRI) 313  Jules Sylvain (CAN) 297  Ron Jenkins (WAL) 279
Lightweight – Overall Men  Vern Barberis (AUS) 347  George Nicholls (BAR) 344.5  Jan Pieterse (SAF) 333
Middleweight – Overall Men  Jim Halliday (ENG) 362.5  Lionel de Freitas (TRI) 342  Julius Park (BGU) 338
Light Heavyweight – Overall Men  Gerry Gratton (CAN) 403.5  Louis Greeff (SAF) 367  Bruce George (NZL) 353.5
Middle Heavyweight – Overall Men  Keevil Daly (CAN) 399  Lennox Kilgour (TRI) 392  Joseph Barnett (ENG) 376.5
Heavyweight – Overall Men  Doug Hepburn (CAN) 471.5  Dave Baillie (CAN) 453.5  Harold Cleghorn (NZL) 421.5


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flyweight Men  Louis Baise (SAF)  Fred Flannery (AUS)  Muhammad Din (PAK)
Bantamweight Men  Geoff Jameson (AUS)  Muhammad Amin (PAK)  Ian Epton (NRH)
Featherweight Men  Abraham Geldenhuys (SAF)  Herb Hall (ENG)  John Armitt (NZL)
Lightweight Men  Godfrey Pienaar (SAF)  Ruby Leobovitch (CAN)  Dick Garrard (AUS)
Welterweight Men  Nick Loubser (SAF)  Abdul Rashid (PAK)  Ray Myland (ENG)
Middleweight Men  Hermanus van Zyl (SAF)  Jim Christie (CAN)  Harry Kendall (ENG)
Light Heavyweight Men  Jacob Theron (SAF)  Bob Steckle (CAN)  Dan van Staden (NRH)
Heavyweight Men  Ken Richmond (ENG)  Keith Maltman (CAN)


  1. ^ "Commonwealth Games Federation - 1954 Commonwealth Games - Introduction". www.thecgf.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.

External links

Preceded by
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
V British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by
All-time Commonwealth Games medal table

This page shows the all-time medal table for the Commonwealth Games. The table is updated as of 15 April 2018, the day the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast ended.

These rankings sort by the number of gold medals earned by a country. The number of silvers is taken into consideration next and then the number of bronze. If, after the above, countries are still tied, equal ranking is given and they are listed alphabetically. This follows the system used by the IOC, IAAF and BBC. The source for this data are the tallies listed at the Commonwealth Games Federation's website.

Athletics at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

At the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, the athletics events were held at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in July and August 1954. A total of 29 athletics events were contested at the Games, 20 by men and 9 by women. A total of twenty-four Games records were set or improved over the competition, leaving just five previous best marks untouched. The 1954 edition saw the introduction of the shot put and discus throw for women, as well as the first 4×110 yards relay for women (which replaced a medley relay).The men's mile run competition – dubbed The Miracle Mile – represented a landmark in the history of the Four-minute mile. Roger Bannister had been the first to have broken the barrier earlier that year, but Landy followed soon after with sub-4 minute (and world record time) of his own. The games offered the first time that two sub-4 minute runners had duelled against each other. Landy led until the final curve, at which point he turned to gauge Bannister's position. Bannister took the opportunity to overtake him on his blind side and he edged out a victory over Landy with a time of 3:58.8 minutes. Landy also ran under four minutes, representing the first time two men had done so in the same race. A sculpture of the race-deciding moment was later placed outside the stadium in memory of the duel.

Jim Peters, then the world record holder in the marathon, entered the stadium some seventeen minutes ahead of his nearest rival in the Games marathon. He collapsed in his final lap of the stadium, however, and did not finish the race (which was won by Joe McGhee).A new Commonwealth record for the high jump was established at the games by Emmanuel Ifeajuna of Nigeria, who became the first Commonwealth athlete to clear six feet and nine inches. Ifeajuna was also the first black African to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

Australia at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games was abbreviated AUS. This was their fifth of 5 Commonwealth Games meets.

Don Jowett

Donald Winston Jowett (4 March 1931 – 21 July 2011) was a New Zealand sprinter and rugby union player who represented his country at the 1950 and 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze medal in 1950, and gold and silver medals in 1954.

Jowett won seven New Zealand national athletics titles: the 220 yards in 1952, 1953, and 1954; and the 440 yards in 1953, 1954, 1955, and 1957. He also won five national titles at under-19 level: the 440 yards in 1945, 1946, and 1947; and the 880 yards in 1946 and 1947.Besides athletics, Jowett played rugby for Otago in 1957. He later moved to Queensland where he was involved in rugby and athletics administration, coaching and refereeing. In the 2005 Australia Day Honours, Jowett was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to sport, particularly athletics, as an administrator, technical official and coach, and to the community through church and welfare organisations. His daughter Susan Jowett became an Olympic sprinter.Don Jowett died on 21 July 2011 and was survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

England at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

England competed at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 30 July to 7 August 1954.England finished at the top of the medal table.

Gérard Côté

Gérard Côté, (July 27, 1913 – 13 June 1993) was a Canadian marathon runner and a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon.

Born in Saint-Barnabé-Sud, Quebec, Côté was training to be a boxer when he switched to running marathons. He competed in his first Boston Marathon in 1936 and won the race in 1940, 1943, 1944, and 1948. He set a new course record with his 1940 victory, and was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete of the year. Côté was the first francophone recipient of the award.

Côté was also a three-time winner of the Yonkers Marathon and won three U.S. Amateur Athletic Union marathon championships. In 264 races over his career, Côté won 112 with 56 second-place finishes. He competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics but leg cramps held him to a 17th-place finish. He was a member of the Canadian teams at the 1950 British Empire Games and the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Côté retired from running in 1956.

Côté has been inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (1955) and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1956). In 1989, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and in 1990, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Côté died in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec at age 79.

India at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

This was the 3rd time India participated in Commonwealth Games. India did not participate in Previous Games in New Zealand. This time also India participated in very few events, mainly in Athletics only. Again, India failed to win single Medal in these games.

Jack Doms

John Allan Doms (22 January 1927 – 22 January 2018) was a New Zealand swimmer. He won gold and silver medals at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, becoming the first New Zealander to win an individual swimming gold medal at a British Empire or Commonwealth Games.

Jack Stewart (diver)

Jack Stewart is a former diving representative from New Zealand.

At the 1950 British Empire Games he won the bronze medal in the men's 1 m springboard event. Four years later at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he won another bronze medal again in the men's 1 m springboard.

John Savidge

John Andrew Savidge (18 December 1924 – 26 December 1979) was a British track and field athlete who specialised in the shot put. He competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics. and finished in sixth place. He was born in Nottingham.

Savidge represented England at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and won the shot put title with a games record mark of 16.77 m (55 ft 0 in). He was England's first ever champion in the event. He also competed at the European Athletics Championships for Great Britain in 1950 and 1954.

He won the shot put at the AAA Championships for three consecutive years (1952–54).

June Blackburn

Betty June Chamberlain (formerly Manhire, née Blackburn; 29 June 1933 – 13 July 2005) was a New Zealand long jumper who represented her country at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Born on 29 June 1933, Blackburn represented New Zealand alongside Yvette Williams in the women's long jump at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. She finished in 13th place, recording a best leap of 16 ft 0 1⁄2 in (4.89 m).She was married twice: firstly to Thomas Richard Manhire until their divorce in 1973; and then to Wallace Ronald Chamberlain. She died on 13 July 2005.

Ken Wilmshurst

Kenneth ("Ken") Stanley David Wilmshurst (9 April 1931 – 3 October 1992) was an Olympic athlete from England. He specialised in the triple jump and long jump events during his career.

Born in Calcutta, West Bengal (India), Wilmshurst represented Great Britain at the 1956 Olympic Games. He claimed gold medals for England in the men's long jump and triple jump event at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He died in Cobham, Surrey, aged 61.

Leslie Laing

Leslie Alphonso "Les" Laing (born 19 February 1925) is a former Jamaican athlete and a winner of gold medal in 4 × 400 m relay at the 1952 Summer Olympics.

Born in Linstead, Jamaica, Laing previously competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics, where he finished sixth in 200 m and was eliminated in the heats of 100 m. He probably missed a medal when Arthur Wint pulled a muscle in the 4 × 400 m relay final. At the Helsinki Olympics, Laing was fifth in the 200 m and ran the second leg in the Jamaican 4 × 400 m relay team, which won the gold medal with a new world record of 3:03.9. In 2005 he was inducted into the Central American and Caribbean Confederation Hall of Fame.[1]

Marrion Roe

Marrion Douglass Roe (later Beck; 3 April 1935 – 29 June 2017) was a New Zealand swimmer who represented her country at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Neil Ritchie (cyclist)

Neil Ritchie (21 October 1933 – 7 December 2017) was a New Zealand cyclist. He competed in the team pursuit event at the 1956 Summer Olympics.Ritchie died in Auckland on 7 December 2017.

New Zealand at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

New Zealand at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games was represented by a team of 56 competitors and nine officials. Selection of the team for the Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was the responsibility of the New Zealand Olympic and British Empire Games Association. New Zealand's flagbearer at the opening ceremony was Max Carr. The New Zealand team finished fifth on the medal table, winning a total of 19 medals, seven of which were gold.

New Zealand has competed in every games, starting with the British Empire Games in 1930 at Hamilton, Ontario.

Noelene Swinton

Noelene Rae Horne (née Swinton, born 1933) is a former New Zealand high jumper.

At the 1950 British Empire Games she won the bronze medal in the women's high jump. At the following 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games she placed 5th in the high jump.

Rich Ferguson (athlete)

Richard K. Ferguson (August 3, 1931 – May 24, 1986) was a bronze medal winner and Canadian record breaker in the "Miracle Mile" race at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, born in Calgary. He attended the University of Iowa. He won the Lionel Conacher Award in 1954.

Winifred Griffin

Winifred Clare "Winkie" Ashby (née Griffin, 17 November 1932 – 11 December 2018) was a New Zealand freestyle swimmer. At the 1950 British Empire Games she won the silver medal as part of the 4 x 110 yards freestyle relay. She was also a member of the New Zealand 3 x 100 yards medley relay team that was disqualified. Individually she placed fourth in the 440 yards freestyle and sixth in the 110 yards freestyle. She also competed in the 440 and 110 yards freestyle at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.Her only Olympic Games appearance was in 1956 at Melbourne where she swam 100 m and 400 m freestyle, and was eliminated in the heats.Griffin won nine New Zealand national swimming titles: the 220 yards freestyle in 1951, 1953 and 1955; and the 440 yards freestyle in 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, and 1957.She was married to rower Kerry Ashby, who died in 2015. Winifred Ashby died of cancer on the Hibiscus Coast, north of Auckland, on 11 December 2018.


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