Athletics Australia is today mourning the passing of esteemed distance runner Ron Clarke AO MBE, who died this morning at the age of 78 after a battle with illness.


Athletics Australia President David Grace QC offered the following comments upon notification of the sad news.


“Today is a very sad day for athletics in Australia, with news of the passing of legendary runner Ron Clarke after a battle with illness. On behalf of Athletics Australia, and indeed the whole athletics community, I extend my sincere condolences to Ron’s family and friends.


“Ron spent almost a decade on the international circuit as a distance athlete, breaking 18 world records during his amazing career. He competed at two Olympic Games, as well as a further three Commonwealth Games and received a plethora of honours in recognition of his achievements including being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his service to athletics and an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the community through a range of leadership roles and to the promotion of athletics.


“Ron will forever be a legend of our sport and we are grateful for his extensive contribution to the sport of athletics, as well as to public service during a life that should be celebrated.”


Athletics Australia will provide further details on plans for Ron Clarke’s memorial as they come to hand. A full obituary will be provided later today.