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AN ENDURING STORY

Surrounded by photographers in his heyday, Emil Zàtopek is still the focus of media interest with the publication of several biographies this year

IN 2002 BOB PHILLIPS wrote the definitive book on Emil Zàtopek’s astonishing running career with detailed descriptions of his key races and all the statistics any track nut could wish for. The title was “Zàtopek! Zàtopek! Zàtopek!” and the sub-title was “The life & times of the world’s greatest distance runner”.

Since then, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele could claim that distinction, but for fans of my generation at least, Emil remains the greatest and it’s fitting that 15 years after his death his achievements should continue to be celebrated. Two books were published simultaneously in late April: this one and Richard Askwith’s Today WeDie A Little: The Rise & Fall of Emil Zàtopek (Yellow Jersey Press, £16.99). What’s more, there’s another biography, by Pat Butcher, to follow later in the year!

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12052016
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