|Competitor for Australia|
|Melbourne 1956||100 metres|
|Melbourne 1956||200 metres|
|Cardiff 1958||100 yards|
|Cardiff 1958||220 yards|
|Cardiff 1958||4x110y relay|
At the 1950 Australian Championships, Marlene placed fourth, behind Shirley Strickland, in the 80m Hurdles and ran in the winning state relay team, but was not selected for the 1950 British Empire Games team.
A few days after her 16th birthday at the NSW Championships, she ran a great race at the New South Wales Championships 100 yards final, placing second to world record-holder Marjorie Jackson and beating four members of the Australian Empire Games team, including Olympic medalist Strickland.
In 1954, recovered from her injuries, she ran second to Jackson in the National 100 yards championship (and third in the 220 yards) and was duly selected to run in her first international championships at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. She was unlucky again, breaking down injured in her heat of the 100 yards.
At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, she won two bronze medals, over 100 metres and 200 metres. In both races she was beaten by countrywoman Betty Cuthbert (gold) and German Christa Stubnick (silver).
In a controversial move, she was left out of the gold-medal winning Australian 4 x 100 metres relay team as she was 'not considered a good relay runner" but soon after the Games she assisted an Australian team to world records for 4 x 200 metres and 4 x 220 yards relay events.
She proved her versatility in the sprint events by setting a new world record at 400 metres with 57.0 seconds on 6 January 1957.
On 20 March 1958, at the Australian Championships, she set a new world record over 100 yards with 10.3 seconds, and two days later she ran 220 yards in 23.4 seconds and set another world record. In both races, she defeated world-record holder and Olympic champion Cuthbert.
At the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Mathews took out the 100 yards and 220 yards, again beating Cuthbert. She was ranked #1 in the world for both 100 metres and 200 metres in both 1957 and 1958.
Personal details and honours
Mathews married fireman Barry Willard in 1958 but they later separated.
|100 y||10.3||0.0||Sydney, Australia||20 March 1958|
|100 m||11.5||-||Sydney, Australia||10 March 1956|
|200 m||23.4||0.0||Sydney, Australia||22 March 1958|
|220 y||23.4||0.0||Sydney, Australia||22 March 1958|
|400 m||57.0||-||Sydney, Australia||6 January 1957|
|440 y||57.0||-||Sydney, Australia||6 January 1957|
|100 y||10.3||Sydney, Australia||20 March 1958|
|200 m||23.4||Sydney, Australia||22 March 1958|
|400 m||57.0||Sydney, Australia||6 January 1957|
|440 y||57.0||Sydney, Australia||6 January 1957|
|4x200m||1-36.3||Sydney, Australia||5 December 1956|
|4x220y||1-36.3||Sydney, Australia||5 December 1956|
Australian Championships Record - prior to 1963 Championships were held every two years
|Year||100y||220y||80m Hurdles||4x110y relay|
- Australian Biographical Database profile - Marlene Mathews
- Athletics Australia profile
- Athletics Gold profile at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009)
- Sport Australia Hall of Fame profile - Marlene Mathews
- Australian Olympic Committee - Marlene Mathews vignette
- Track & Field News World Rankings-100m
- Track & Field News World Rankings-200m