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The Running Legend From New Zealand named Bill Baillie

The Athletics Legend From New Zealand Bill Baillie

Bill Baillie, the renowned figure in New Zealand athletics, is acknowledged as one of the remarkably unique and adaptable long-distance runners ever to emerge from the country. He peacefully passed away at the age of 84. As part of the celebrated group of athletes coached by Arthur Lydiard, Bill Baillie bid farewell to this world on Christmas Day.

During the golden era of New Zealand athletics, Baillie rose to fame alongside Murray Halberg, Peter Snell, John Davies, and Barry Magee, among other respected athletes. Bill’s son, Russell Baillie, disclosed yesterday to the Herald that his father’s demise occurred while he was asleep.

The Baillie family was reportedly enjoying the Christmas festivities in Cooks Beach, Coromandel. Russell mentioned that in the days leading up to his passing, his father Bill was alert and in good health, spending quality time with three generations of his family. On Christmas Eve, surrounded by about a dozen family members at the dinner table, Bill appeared to be in good spirits. However, he seemed unwell, displaying some unusual signs.

During dinner, Bill opted not to finish his glass of red wine. Later that night, after reading for a brief period, he retired to bed and fell asleep as usual. It was in his sleep that Bill peacefully departed during the night. Baillie represented New Zealand at four Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, 1958, 1962, and 1966, as well as the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. At the Tokyo Olympics, Baillie achieved a notable sixth position in the final of the 5000 meters amidst tough competition.

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