Ralph Doubell

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Ralph Doubell
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Competitor for  Australia
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City 800 metres

Ralph Douglas Doubell AM (born 11 February 1945) is an Australian former athlete, and gold medallist at the 1968 Summer Olympics.


Doubell was born in Melbourne, was educated at Melbourne High School[1] and graduated from the University of Melbourne, where he had come under the tutelage of legendary Austrian-born coach Franz Stampfl. Doubell's first major international victory in 800 metres was at the World Student Games in Tokyo in 1967 in a time of 1:46.7. His next season (the Olympic season) was severely curtailed by Achilles' tendon injuries, and he was unable to compete for six months prior to the Olympic Games in Mexico City.

Doubell had a comparatively short international athletics career, however he managed to reach his peak in just the right place - an Olympic Games final.

In Mexico, the overwhelming favourite in the Olympic 800 m final was Wilson Kiprugut of Kenya who led the field through 400 m in 51.0, and was still leading at the home turn, where Doubell made his move, passing Kiprugut down the straight to win the gold medal in a world record equalling time of 1:44.3. This time is notable in that it took until July 2014 for the record to be equalled. This amazing feat was accomplished by 22 year-old Alex Rowe in the Monaco series of the IAAF Diamond League- a notoriously fast track to compete on.

Doubell also won the 800 metres gold medal at the 1969 Pacific Conference Games in a time of 1:48.0[2]

Doubell had planned to compete at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, but was prevented in doing so by calf injuries, which brought on his retirement from competitive athletics.[1]

After retirement from sports Doubell worked as a Head of Relationship Management and a Director and Divisional Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking of the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia. He was a Director of Telstra Stadium in Sydney until 2007.

Doubell was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.[1] On 12 June 2006, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, he was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia, for "services to athletics through administrative roles, particularly with Athletics New South Wales, and as a competitor".


  1. ^ a b c "Ralph Doubell AM - Athletics". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Pacific Conference Games". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 

Preceded by
New Zealand Peter Snell
Men's 800 metres World Record Holder
equalled by Dave Wottle (USA) on 1972-07-01

1968-10-15 – 1973-06-27
Succeeded by
Italy Marcello Fiasconaro