Kerry O'Brien (athlete)

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Kerry O'Brien (born 17 April 1946) is a former athlete from Australia, who competed in the middle distance events. He was born in Port Augusta, South Australia. He represented his native country at two consecutive Commonwealth Games from 1966 and two Summer Olympics from 1968.[1]

O'Brien was the world record holder in the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase for more than two years (1970–1972), setting a time of 8:21.98 at Berlin on 4 July 1970.[2] At the 1970 Commonwealth Games, O'Brien fell at the final water-jump, while leading, and failed to finish the race.[1] He also fell during the 1972 Olympics. He retired in 1973 with a total of nine Australian Championships to his credit. He won one cross country title, one 5000 metres title and seven steeplechase championships.[1]


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Kingston, Jamaica 8th 1 mile
British Empire and Commonwealth Games Kingston, Jamaica 2nd 3000 m steeplechase
1968 Olympic Games Mexico City, Mexico 4th 3000 m steeplechase
1969 Pacific Conference Games Tokyo, Japan 1st 3000 m steeplechase
1970 British Commonwealth Games Edinburgh, Scotland 8th 10,000 m
British Commonwealth Games Edinburgh, Scotland DNF 3000 m steeplechase
1972 Olympic Games Munich, West Germany DNF 3000 m steeplechase
1973 Pacific Conference Games Toronto, Canada 1st 3000 m steeplechase


  1. ^ a b c Profile,; accessed 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ Athletics Australia - list of Australian world record holders
Preceded by
Soviet Union Vladimir Dudin
Men's 3000 m steeplechase
world record holder

4 July 1970 – 14 September 1972
Succeeded by
Sweden Anders Gärderud
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Finland Jouko Kuha
Men's 3000 m steeplechase
best year performance

Succeeded by
Sweden Anders Gärderud