Posts Tagged ‘california’

The 1971 US-USSR-World All-Stars Track Meet at University of California, Berkeley: John Akii-Bua, Steve Prefontaine, Pat Matzdorf, Judith Ayaa, and Other Athletes

March 10, 2015

The US-USSR-World All-Stars Track and Field Meet took place on Saturday, July 3rd 1971, in Berkeley at the Edwards Stadium of University of California.


Very recently, on May 30th 1971, John Akii-Bua had commendably reduced the 400 meters-hurdles African record to 49.7 seconds in Kampala, and thereby gained a reasonably significant level of attention. But there was some skepticism about the timing and the track conditions, given that the event was contested on a somewhat unknown and unrecognized African track. Nevertheless, in Berkeley, 21 year-old policeman Akii was considered a major contender for the gold medal. The other two favorites were Wes Williams who was regarded as USA’s top contenders, and Russia’s Vyacheslav Skomorokhov. Williams had at the recent national AAU championships finished second in the 440 yards-hurdles  (which is four yards longer than the metric lap) in an impressive 49.3; while  Skomorokhov who finished fifth in the foregone 1968 Olympics had a 49.1 personal best in the intermediate hurdles.

Eventually, Akii-Bua of Uganda, representing  the World, won (50.1), second was University of Washington’s Jim Seymour (USA) in 50.5, Roger Johnson (World) was third (50.9), Vyacheslav Skomorokhov (USSR) was fourth (50.9), fifth was Wes Williams (51.0) of USA, followed by Yuriy Zorin (USSR) in 53.3.

Akii-Bua’s remarks are mentioned (AP 1971: 19).

“I have been practicing hurdles with both…right…and left leg. I think those who hurdle with only one leg aren’t versatile enough…. I don’t have any set plan to run so many steps in between the hurdles. I just go over them when I get there.”

In the men’s 4x400m relay the USA team (Edesel Garrison, Frederick Newhouse, Tommie Turner, Darwin Bond) triumphed (3:02.9); the World’s team (Alfred Daley, John Akii-Bua, Laighton Priestley, Garth Case) was second (3:08.4); while the USSR team (Boris Savchuk, Yuriy Zorin, Dimitriy Stuklaov, Semyon Kocher) was last.

Judith Ayaa of Uganda, representing the World, participated in the women’s 4x400m relay. This time, the USSR team won (3:36.0). The Soviet runners were Lyudmila Findgenova, Lyudmila Aksenova, Natalya Chistyakova, and Nadyezhda Kolesnikova.  Second an in 3:38.1 was the USA team (Esther Stroy, Gwen Norman, Cheryl Toussaint, and Jarvis Scott). Finishing third in 3:44.1 was the World all-Stars team of Ayaa, Penny Werther, Allison Ross-Edwards, and Yvonne Sanders.

Major highlights at the international track meet included the setting of a new world record in the high jump (7 feet, 6.25 inches) by University of Wisconsin’s Pat Matzdorf (USA); and a new national record in the 5000m (13:30.4) by USA’s Steve Prefontaine (University of Oregon).

Overall in points, the USA won, USSR was second, and the World All-Stars team was third.

Works Cited

AP (July 14, 1971) “For America-Russian Track Duel: U.S. Runners Weren’t Ready,” in “Odessa American.”

Jonathan Musere

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The Books of Jonathan Musere

May 13, 2011

Southern Californians’ Attitudes to Immigrants: Blacks Compared to Other Ethnics
by Jonathan Musere
ISBN: 0964596938
ISBN-13: 9780964596931
Format: Paperback, 167pp
Publisher: Ariko Publications
Pub. Date: March 2000
+++++
Traditional African Names
by Jonathan Musere
Format: Hardcover, 416pp
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pub. Date: December 1999
ISBN-13: 9780810836433
416pp
+++++
African Proverbs and Proverbial Names
by Jonathan Musere
Publisher: Ariko Publications
Pub. Date: April 1999
ISBN-13: 9780964596924
Paperback: 216pp
+++++
African Ethnics and Personal Names
By Jonathan Musere, Christopher Odhiambo
ISBN: 0964596911
ISBN-13: 9780964596917
Format: Paperback, 281pp
Publisher: Ariko Publications
Pub. Date: January 1999
281pp
+++++
African Names and Naming
by Jonathan Musere, Shirley C. Byakutaga
Publisher: Ariko Publications
Format: Paperback, 157pp
Pub. Date: June 1998
ISBN-13: 9780964596900
157pp
+++++
African Sleeping Sickness: Political Ecology, Colonialism, and Control in Uganda
by Jonathan Musere
Publisher: Edwin Mellen Press
Pub. Date: October 1990
ISBN-10: 0889462801
ISBN-13: 978-0889462809