Dorothy Manley

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Dorothy Manley
Personal information
Full name Dorothy Grace Manley
Nationality British
Born (1927-04-29) 29 April 1927 (age 87)
Manor Park, London
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight 51 kg (112 lb)
Sport
Country United Kingdom
Sport Athletics
Club Essex Ladies Athletic Club
Retired 1952
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 1948 Summer Olympics:
100m – Silver

Dorothy Gladys Manley (later Hall, then Parlett; born 29 April 1927) is a British sprint runner. She competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics, held in London, in the 100 metres where she won the silver medal with a time of 12.2 seconds. She was also a medallist in the 1950 British Empire Games, and the 1950 European Athletics Championships. [1]

Early life[edit]

Manley was born in Manor Park, London, on 29 April 1927.[2] She was initially introduced into athletics by one of her school teachers and worked her way up from the school, to the district and then to running for her county before the Second World War.[2] Contrary to reports, she was not evacuated during the war. In 1942 she competed in an athletics meeting at Ashton playing fields where she ran in the 200 metres for the first time.[2]

Athletic career[edit]

She raced for the Essex Ladies athletics club.[2] Manley was added to a national list of potential Olympians in late 1947, and assigned to train with Sandy Duncan.[2] She began her training for the 1948 Summer Olympics early in March 1948, training on the track four times a week, but never using the gym. Manley described the trials as a "fiasco", having finished fifth at the Women's Amateur Athletic Association Championships, but was still picked to represent the United Kingdom. She was working full-time during 1948 for the Suez Canal Company as a typist,[3] and used her summer holidays to attend the games although the leave was unpaid by her employer.[2]

Her mother made her running vest and shorts for the Games, but she was given the blazer and skirt for the opening ceremony. While at the Games, she travelled to and from Wembley on the London Underground, as she was sharing a room with two other athletes near Eccleston Square in central London.[3]

She qualified for the women's 100 metres final, and finished in second place, winning the silver medal in her first international athletics event.[2] Fanny Blankers-Koen won the gold medal in first place with a time of 11.9, while Manley's time was 12.2, just ahead of Shirley Strickland de la Hunty, who registered the same time.[2] Manley described her start in the race as the "best of her life",[2] having described her normal starts as notoriously bad. She thought that this may have actually distracted her as her start was so good that she was expecting the race to be recalled.[2]

She won the WAAA Championships title for 200 m at the 1950 meeting at White City Stadium, which was her only WAAA title.[2] She retired from athletics in 1952 after suffering from a thyroid condition.[2] At the 1950 British Empire Games in New Zealand, she was asked after arrival if she would like to compete in the high jump – only then finding out that she had been entered in the event without her knowledge. With minimal training in the time available, she competed in the event and finished in fourth position behind Dorothy Tyler, Bertha Crowther and Noeline Swinton. She was part of the women's relay teams at the Games, and won silver in the 660 yards relay and bronze in the 440 yards relay. The team won gold in the 4×100 m relay at the 1950 European Athletics Championships. She described that race as particularly exciting as they had beaten the Dutch team, which included Fanny Blankers-Koen.[2]

Private life[edit]

She married for a second time in 1979, to middle distance runner John Parlett.[2] Parlett was in the British team along with Manley at the 1948 Olympics.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dorothy Manley. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Aitken, Alastair. "Dorothy Manley – Silver medalist London Olympics 1948". Highgate Harriers. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Neil (15 February 2011). "The tracks of our years: How the lives of athletes have changed since the Games were last here in 1948". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Thordardottir, Ingibjorg (26 August 2008). "Keep it simple say 1948 Olympians". BBC News. Retrieved 24 March 2012.