05 December 2018

IAAF to honour Australia's Golden Girl with plaque

Australia’s golden girl, the late Betty Cuthbert will be one of twelve track and field legends to be honoured as part of the newly created IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque program.

Her plaque will be erected in the historic Sydney Cricket Ground precinct where she set six of her eight world records.

The announcement was made at an IAAF Heritage Legends Reception in Monaco this week.

IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe said, “The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition which highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and culture around the world.”

A uniquely designed plaque will be permanently and publicly displayed at a location closely associated with each recipient.

Coe continued: “On the same principle that London’s world-famous blue plaque scheme celebrates notable people who have lived and worked in the British capital, the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque sets out to recognise an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of athletics.”

Chairman of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, Mr Tony Shepherd was delighted that Ms Cuthbert would be recognised at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“The SCG Trust is delighted that the IAAF has selected the Sydney Cricket Ground as the location for Betty Cuthbert’s IAAF World Athletics Heritage plaque. Betty set six of her eight world records at the former Sydney Sports Ground within the Sydney Cricket Ground precinct, and became the darling in Australian sport.”

“Like the IAAF, the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust maintains a strong commitment to its history.

“The SCG Trust invited Lord Sebastian Coe to unveil bronze sculptures of Betty Cuthbert and fellow Australian athletic champion Marlene Mathews earlier this year.”

Lord Sebastian Coe said that Cuthbert (and Mathews) had left an incredible legacy across the entire sport of athletics.

Betty Cuthbert represented Australia at three Olympic Games and two British Empire Games. She remains the only athlete to win the women’s 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres at the Olympic Games.

Betty Cuthbert was remembered with a moving moment silence in an emotional tribute during the 2018 IAAF World Championships in London.

Her plaque will be erected at the Sydney Cricket Ground precinct with a formal unveiling to be confirmed.

IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque

The plaque can be awarded in five different and broad categories (City; Competition;

Legend; Landmark; Culture – click here for criteria 

A dozen locations covering all six IAAF continental areas, directly associated with a dozen

legends were announced as the inaugural recipients of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage

Plaque (in chronological order):

  • EMIL VOIGT (GBR) - Manchester Harriers & Athletics Club, Manchester.
  • ERIC LEMMING (SWE) / IAAF FOUNDATION 1912 - Stockholm Olympic stadium,


  • PAAVO NURMI (FIN) - Paavo Nurmi Games & Stadium, Turku.
  • MILDRED DIDRIKSON (USA) - Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum, Beaumont,


  • CHUHEI NAMBU (JPN) - Meiji Jingu Gaien Nikoniko Park, Tokyo.
  • JESSE OWENS (USA) - Ferry Field, University of Michigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor,


  • FANNY BLANKERS-KOEN (NED) - Fanny Blankers-Koen Games & Stadium,


  • EMIL ZATOPEK (CZE) - Golden Spike & Městský Stadion, Ostrava.
  • ADHEMAR DA SILVA - Centro Esportivo e de Lazer Tietê, Sao Paulo.
  • BETTY CUTHBERT (AUS) - Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, Sydney.
  • ABEBE BIKILA (ETH) - Abebe Bikila Stadium, Addis Ababa.
  • IRENA SZEWINSKA (POL) – Stadion Zawiszy Imienia, Bydgoszcz.