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Champions admire Cuthbert's achievements

4 December 2012

ATHLETICS: When the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) inaugurated the first members into the IAAF Hall of Fame, Australia's own golden girl Betty Cuthbert was one of the 24 inductees.

Accustomed to coming first, Cuthbert won three gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games (becoming the first Australian to win three gold medals at a single Games), and added another gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Cuthbert was one of the 13 Hall of Fame Awardees attending the IAAF Gala Ceremony in Barcelona to mark its Centenary on November 24.

IAAF President Lamine Diack presented trophies to Cuthbert, Iolanda Balas, Sergey Bubka, Sebastian Coe, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Alberto Juantorena, Wang Junxia, Kipchoge Keino, Stefka Kostadinova, Edwin Moses, Dan O’Brien, Peter Snell, and Irena Szewinska. For the full list of IAAF Hall of Fame Members inducted click here.

Cuthbert, who AOC President John Coates describes as "one of Australia’s finest Olympians,” flew to Barcelona despite crippling multiple sclerosis which she has had for over 40 years.

There was not a dry eye in the room when Cuthbert's close friend Rhonda wheeled her onto the stage to receive her Hall of Fame Award.

Olympic Champions Sally Pearson and Usain Bolt were among the athletes to get a photo with Cuthbert at the event. Bolt showed admiration for Cuthbert and naturally, Pearson rates it among her favourite photos.

Over 800 guests were in attendance including countless Olympians, IAF Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, IOC members, members of the World Athletics Family and representatives of other International Federations as well as dignitaries from Spanish sport and politics.

World Athletes of the Year Bolt and Allyson Felix joined President Diack on stage with the six of the most outstanding athletes from this summer’s IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona: Angelica Bengtsson, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, Ana Peleteiro, Anthonique Strachan, Adam Gemili, and Keshorn Walcott - to symbolise a bright future for athletics as the next 100 years of the IAAF gets underway.

Taya Conomos (olympics.com.au) and IAAF

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