AW promotion: Ann Packer, Ed Moses and Roger Bannister have been involved in some terrific races

As any athletics fan knows, running events have seen hundreds of memorable and dramatic finishes over the decades. But we have managed to whittle the list down to the top three most dramatic finishes in running history.

A newcomer sets a world record

You are sure to be enjoying this year’s Tokyo Olympics, even if the games are not quite the same as usual. And if you want to keep up with all the latest news and odds, check out sports betting with Casumo. The last time Tokyo held the summer Olympics was back in 1964, and the games had many memorable moments, including the dramatic finish of the women’s 800 metres.

English athlete Ann Packer was used to running in the 400 metres, but she had only debuted in the 800 metres earlier in the year. The Hungarian Zsuzsa Szabo took an early lead and reached the halfway point in only 58.6 seconds. On the crown of the bend before the finishing line, Packer suddenly sprinted past New Zealand’s Marise Chamberlain and then Szabo, who was now in second place.

Packer continued to pick up the pace with seconds to go, and she hurtled past the leader, French runner Maryvonne Dupureur, and crossed the tape. Packer created a new world record with her time of 2:01.1.

Ann Packer wins in Tokyo (Mark Shearman)

 The closest 400 metres hurdles ever

The World Championships in 1987 saw the closest 400 metres hurdles in the event’s history. In fact, bronze and silver places were both only 0.02 seconds behind the gold medal winner. US athlete Edwin Moses caught up German Harald Schmid just after the fourth hurdle. The US’s Danny Harris was close behind, taking it one stride at a time. Moses had a two-metre lead coming up to the ninth hurdle, while Harris was in front of Schmid. Then, Schmid overtook Harris.


As the three bolted towards the final hurdle, Moses managed to maintain his lead while Harris pushed on to slightly overtake Schmid. Moses then started to struggle and the race was anyone’s as they fought their way to the finishing line. Moses crossed the line with a time of 47.46 while Danny Harris came in second place with 47.48 and Harald Schmid came in third place, also with 47.48. Schmid was far from disappointed, though, as it was his personal best time. 

The Mile of the Century

Roger Bannister will always be known for being the first athlete to run the mile under four minutes. He accomplished the feat in 1954, with a time of 3:59.4. However, Bannister’s record only lasted 46 days, as it was beaten by Australia’s John Landy with a time of 3:58.0. So, when the two met at the Vancouver Commonwealth Games that same year, spectators knew it would be a dramatic race even before it began.

It was billed as “The Mile of the Century.” Landy took the lead at the 220-yard mark. He then completed his first lap in just 58.2 seconds, as Bannister trailed behind in second place. On the second lap, Landy’s lead on Bannister was fifteen yards at one point. But come the third lap, Bannister started to close the gap. He managed to get five yards behind Landy before catching him up and running shoulder to shoulder. Landy then picked up the pace and once again went into the lead.

At the last bend, Bannister launched into a mighty sprint. Landy stupidly then looked back to see where Bannister was, losing a valuable fraction of a second. However, Landy still managed to hang on to his lead. He beat Bannister by five yards and received a time of 3:58.8. Both Landy and Bannister managed to run the mile under four minutes once again, and it was one of the greatest finishes of all time.