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1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games

5th British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Host city Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Nations participating 24
Athletes participating 662
Events 91
Opening ceremony 30 July
Closing ceremony 7 August
Officially opened by Earl Alexander of Tunis
Officially closed by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh
Main venue Empire Stadium
IV VI  >

The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 30 July–7 August 1954. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952.

It was at these games that the "Miracle Mile" took place between Roger Bannister and John Landy at Empire Stadium. This was the first time these two (and at that time the only two) sub-four-minute mile runners appeared in the same race, and also the first time two runners broke four minutes in the same race. On the same afternoon, Jim Peters, the holder of the world best for the marathon, entered the stadium 17 minutes ahead of his nearest rival, but collapsed on his final lap, and never completed the race.

The games were attended by 24 nations and 662 competitors.


  • Venues 1
  • Participating teams 2
  • Medal table 3
  • Medal winners 4
    • Athletics 4.1
    • Bowls 4.2
      • Men's events only 4.2.1
    • Boxing 4.3
    • Cycling 4.4
      • Track 4.4.1
      • Road 4.4.2
    • Fencing 4.5
    • Rowing 4.6
    • Swimming 4.7
      • Men's events 4.7.1
      • Women's events 4.7.2
    • Diving 4.8
    • Weightlifting 4.9
    • Wrestling 4.10
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Participating teams

Countries that participated

24 teams were represented at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
(Teams competing for the first time are shown in bold).

Medal table

Statue in Vancouver commemorating the "Miracle Mile" between Roger Bannister and John Landy
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  England 23 24 20 67
2  Australia 20 11 17 48
3  South Africa 16 6 13 35
4  Canada 9 20 14 43
5  New Zealand 7 7 5 19
6  Scotland 6 2 5 13
7  Southern Rhodesia 2 2 1 5
8  Trinidad and Tobago 2 2 0 4
9  Northern Ireland 2 1 0 3
10  Northern Rhodesia 1 4 3 8
11  Nigeria 1 3 3 7
12  Pakistan 1 3 2 6
13  Wales 1 1 5 7
14  Jamaica 1 0 0 1
15  Barbados 0 1 0 1
 Hong Kong 0 1 0 1
 Uganda 0 1 0 1
16  British Guiana 0 0 1 1
Total 92 89 89 270

Medal winners



Men's events only

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles (details)  Ralph Hodges (SRH)  James Pirrett (NZL)  Arthur Saunders (SAF)
Pairs (details)  William Rosbotham & Percy Watson (NIR)  Sam Gardiner & Richard Williams (CAN)  John Carswell (SCO)
Fours (details)  South Africa (SAF)  Hong Kong (HKG)  Southern Rhodesia (SRH)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flyweight Men  Dick Currie (SCO)  Abe Bekker (NRH)  Warner Batchelor (AUS)
Bantamweight Men  John Smillie (SCO)  Gordon Smith (SRH)  Abubakar Idi Garuba (NGR)
Featherweight Men  Leonard Leisching (SAF)  Malcolm Collins (WAL)  Dave Charnley (ENG)
Lightweight Men  Piet van Staden (SRH)  Frank McQuillan (SCO)  Brian Cahill (AUS)
Light Welterweight Men  Mickey Bergin (CAN)  Aubrey Harris (SRH)  Des Duguid (AUS)
Welterweight Men  Nicholas Gargano (ENG)  Rodney Litzow (AUS)  Hendrik van der Linde (SAF)
Light Middleweight Men  Wilf Greaves (CAN)  Freddy Wright (NRH)  Bruce Wells (ENG)
Middleweight Men  Johannes van der Kolff (SAF)  Arthur Crawford (NRH)  Marcel Piau (CAN)
Light Heavyweight Men  Piet van Vuuren (SAF)  Tony Madigan (AUS)  Bill Misselbrook (CAN)
Heavyweight Men  Brian Harper (ENG)  Gerry Buchanan (CAN)   )SAF(

Venue: Vancouver Forum



Event Gold Silver Bronze
Time Trial Men  Dick Ploog (AUS) 00:01:12  Keith Harrison (ENG) 00:01:13
 Alfred Swift (SAF)
Sprint Men  Cyril Peacock (ENG)  Tom Shardelow (SAF)
Individual Pursuit Men  Norman Sheil (ENG) 00:05:03  Peter Brotherton (ENG) 00:05:09  Robert Fowler (SAF) 00:05:07
10 Miles Scratch Men  Lindsay Cocks (AUS) 00:21:59  Keith Harrison (ENG)  Don Skene (WAL)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Road Race Men  Eric Thompson (ENG) 02:44:08  John Baird (NZL) NTT  Bernard Pusey (ENG) NTT


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Foil Men  René Paul (ENG)  John Fethers (AUS)  Allan Jay (ENG)
Foil – Team Men  England (ENG)  Australia (AUS)  Canada (CAN)
Épée Men  Ivan Lund (AUS)  René Paul (ENG)  Carl Schwende (CAN)
Épée – Team Men  England (ENG)  Canada (CAN)  Australia (AUS)
Sabre Men  Mike Amberg (ENG)  Ralph Cooperman (ENG)  John Fethers (AUS)
Sabre- Team Men  Canada (CAN)  England (ENG)  Australia (AUS)
Foil Women  Mary Glen-Haig (ENG)  Gillian Sheen (ENG)  Aileen Harding (WAL)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Single Sculls Men  Don Rowlands (NZL) 00:08:28  Sidney Rand (ENG) 00:08:43  Bobby Williams (CAN) 00:08:51
Double Sculls Men  Mervyn Wood & Murray Riley (AUS) 00:07:55  Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:05  Donald Guest & Lawrence Stephan (CAN) 00:08:29
Coxless Pairs Men  Bob Parker & Reg Douglas (NZL) 00:08:24  Tom Christie & Nicholas Clack (ENG) 00:08:24  Dave Anderson & Geoff Williamson (AUS) 00:08:30
Coxed Fours Men  Lionel Robberds, Dave Anderson, Peter Evatt, Geoff Williamson & Mervyn Wood (AUS) 00:07:58  Bruce Culpan, Kerry Ashby, Murray Ashby, Bill Tinnock & Stanley Callagher (NZL) 00:08:04  Geoffrey Page, Roderick Macmillan, Alastair Davidson, Maurice Legg & David Glynne-Jones (ENG) 00:08:05
Eights Men  Daryl MacDonald, Glen Smith, H.J. Zloklikovits, K.J. Drummond, Lawrence West, Ray Sierpina, Robert Wilson, Thomas Toynbee & Thomas Harris (CAN) 00:06:59  Alastair Davidson, Alan Watson, David Glynne-Jones, Geoffrey Page, John Pope, Joseph Eldeen, M.G.C. Savage, Maurice Legg & Roderick Macmillan (ENG) 00:07:11


Men's events

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle  Jon Henricks (AUS) 56.5  Cyrus Weld (AUS) 58.5  Rex Aubrey (AUS) 58.7
440 yd freestyle  Gary Chapman (AUS) 4:39.8  Jack Wardrop (SCO) 4:41.5  Graham Johnston (SAF) 4:43.3
1650 yd freestyle  Graham Johnston (SAF) 19:01.4  Peter Duncan (SAF) 19:22.1  Gary Chapman (AUS) 19:28.4
110 yd backstroke  John Brockway (WAL) 1:06.5  Lincoln Hurring (NZL) 1:06.9  Cyrus Weld (AUS) 1:08.6
220 yd breaststroke  Jack Doms (NZL) 2:52.6  Peter Jervis (ENG) 2:52.6  Alan Hime (ENG) 2:52.8
4×220 yd freestyle relay  Australia
David Hawkins
Gary Chapman
Jon Henricks
Rex Aubrey
8:47.6  Canada
Allan Gilchrist
George Park
Gerald McNamee
Ted Simpson
8:56.0  South Africa
Dennis Ford
Graham Johnston
Peter Duncan
William Steuart
3×110 yd medley relay  Australia
Cyrus Weld
David Hawkins
Jon Henricks
3:22.0  New Zealand
Frederick Lucas
Jack Doms
Lincoln Hurring
3:26.6  Scotland
Jack Wardrop
John Service
Robert Wardrop

Women's events

Event Gold Silver Bronze
110 yd freestyle  Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 1:05.8  Virginia Grant (CAN) 1:06.3  Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:08.2
440 yd freestyle  Lorraine Crapp (AUS) 5:11.4  Gladys Priestley (CAN) 5:19.6  Margaret Girvan (SCO) 5:21.4
110 yd backstroke  Joan Harrison (SAF) 1:15.2  Pat Symons (ENG) 1:17.4  Jean Stewart (NZL) 1:17.5
220 yd breaststroke  Elenor Gordon (SCO) 2:59.2   )SAF( 3:03.3  Margaret Grundy (ENG) 3:04.5
4×110 yd freestyle relay  South Africa
Felicity Loveday
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Natalie Myburgh
4:33.9  Canada
Beth Whittall
Gladys Priestley
Helen Stewart
Virginia Grant
4:37.0  England
Diana Wilkinson
Fearne Ewart
Jean Botham
Valerie Nares-Pillow
3×110 yd medley relay  Scotland
Helen Gordon
Margaret McDowell
Margaret Girvan
3:51.0  South Africa
Joan Harrison
Machduldt Petzer
Mary Morgan
3:52.7  Australia
Jann Grier
Judith Knight
Lorraine Crapp


Event Gold Silver Bronze
3 Metres Springboard Diving Men  Peter Heatly (SCO) 146.76  Tony Turner (ENG) 145.27  Jack Stewart (NZL) 144.98
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Men  Bill Patrick (CAN) 142.7  Kevin Newell (AUS) 142.06  Peter Heatly (SCO) 141.32
3 Metres Springboard Diving Women  Ann Long (ENG) 128.26  Barbara McAulay (AUS) 127.74  Irene MacDonald (CAN) 126.19
10 Metres Highboard [Platform] Diving Women  Barbara McAulay (AUS) 86.55  Eunice Miller (ENG) 79.86  Ann Long (ENG) 79.53


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Bantamweight – Overall Men  Maurice Megennis (ENG) 281  Frank Cope (ENG) 276.5  Keith Caple (AUS) 274
Featherweight – Overall Men  Rodney Wilkes (TRI) 313  Jules Sylvain (CAN) 297  Ron Jenkins (WAL) 279
Lightweight – Overall Men  Vern Barberis (AUS) 347   )BAR( 344.5  Jan Pieterse (SAF) 333
Middleweight – Overall Men  Jim Halliday (ENG) 362.5  Lionel de Freitas (TRI) 342  Julius Park (BGU) 338
Light Heavyweight – Overall Men  Gerry Gratton (CAN) 403.5  Louis Greeff (SAF) 367   )NZL( 353.5
Middle Heavyweight – Overall Men  Keevil Daly (CAN) 399  Lennox Kilgour (TRI) 392  Joseph Barnett (ENG) 376.5
Heavyweight – Overall Men  Doug Hepburn (CAN) 471.5  Dave Baillie (CAN) 453.5  Harold Cleghorn (NZL) 421.5


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flyweight Men  Louis Baise (SAF)  Fred Flannery (AUS)  Muhammad Din (PAK)
Bantamweight Men  Geoff Jameson (AUS)  Muhammad Amin (PAK)  Ian Epton (NRH)
Featherweight Men  Abraham Geldenhuys (SAF)  Herb Hall (ENG)  John Armitt (NZL)
Lightweight Men  Godfrey Pienaar (SAF)  Ruby Leobovitch (CAN)  Dick Garrard (AUS)
Welterweight Men  Nick Loubser (SAF)  Abdul Rashid (PAK)  Ray Myland (ENG)
Middleweight Men  Hermanus van Zyl (SAF)  Jim Christie (CAN)  Harry Kendall (ENG)
Light Heavyweight Men  Jacob Theron (SAF)  Bob Steckle (CAN)  Dan van Staden (NRH)
Heavyweight Men  Ken Richmond (ENG)  Keith Maltman (CAN)


External links

  • Commonwealth Games official website
  • 1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games at the official Guernsey site
  • 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games – Australian Commonwealth Games official website
  • British Empire and Commonwealth Games, a National Film Board of Canada documentary about the 1954 Games
  • [2] Vancouver Heritage Foundation - venues for 1954 games
Preceded by
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
V British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by
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