Dianne Burge

Dianne Burge (née Bowering), (born 9 October 1943) is a former Australian sprinter who competed in two Olympic Games and won three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the title South Australian 'Athlete of the Century' by Athletics South Australia.

Dianne Burge
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Australia
Commonwealth Games
1966 Kingston 100 yards
1966 Kingston 220 yards
1966 Kingston 4x110y relay

Early athletics career

In 1963, Adelaide sprinter Diane Bowering won the Australian 100-yard Championships in an upset.[1] She was virtually unknown outside her home state but ended the year ranked as #3 in the world.[2] She competed for Adelaide Harriers and was coached by Len Barnes who nicknamed her 'the twerp'[3]

International athletics career

A year later, Bowering ran second in the national 100y title and earned a place in the Australian team for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. At the Games, she did not progress past the second round of the 100 metres, but made the final of the 4 × 100 metres relay with the Australian team.[4]

Now married and running as Dianne Burge, she starred in the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, winning gold medals at 100 yards, 220 yards and in the 4x110 yards relay.[4] At the end of the year, she was world-ranked #6 for 100 metres[2] and #5 for 200 metres.[5]

In 1967, she won the 100 m and 200 m at the United States versus British Commonwealth meet in Los Angeles, beating Olympic champion Wyomia Tyus[1] and was ranked #2 in the world for 100 m[2] and #3 for 200 m[5] by Track and Field News.

Burge won the sprint double at the 1968 Australian Championships, running fast times of 11.3 and 23.0[4] with the 100 metres time a new Australian record. Considered a medal favourite at the Mexico Olympics, she was affected by illness in Mexico City and did well to make the 100-metres final, placing sixth.[1]

She was ranked sixth in the world for 100 metres,[2] when she retired from the sport in early 1969.[1]


Burge was awarded the inaugural Sportswomen's Association of Australia (SA Division) 'Sportswoman of the Year' award in 1966.[6]

She was named as the 'Athlete of the Century' by Athletics South Australia.[3]


Personal Bests[1]

Event Time Wind Place Date
60 m7.2-Brisbane, Australia13 March 1968
100 y10.4-Sydney, Australia18 March 1966
Automatic10.58+0.1Kingston, Jamaica8 August 1966
100 m11.2-Mexico City, Mexico4 October 1968
Automatic11.33+1.8Mexico City, Mexico14 October 1968
200 m23.0-Adelaide, Australia10 March 1968
Automatic23.650.0Mexico City, Mexico17 March 1968
220 y23.730.0Kingston, Jamaica11 August 1966

World Rankings - 100 m[2] and 200 m[5]

Year 100 m 200 m

Australian Championships Record[4]

Year 100y/100 m 220y/200 m
  • DNQ=Did not qualify for final (only six athletes per final in this era)


  1. "Athletics Gold profile". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. "Track & Field News World Rankings - 100 metres" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  3. Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Peter Goers' interview with Di Burge.
  4. Athletics Australia profile
  5. "Track & Field News World Rankings - 200 metres" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  6. Australian Women biographical profile - Dianne Burge

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