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Sprinting great Treloar dies on Games eve
22:38 AEST Tue Jul 24 2012

The Australian Olympic community is in mourning on the eve of the London Games after the death of sprinting great John Treloar.

"We had some sad news overnight that an Olympian in 1948 and 1952, John Treloar, passed away. He was 84," Australian team boss Nick Green told reporters on Tuesday.

"We, the Olympic family, send our sympathies out to his family."

Treloar competed at the 1948 London Olympics and again at the 1952 Helsinki Games where he qualified for the 100 yard final, finishing sixth, just 0.1 seconds behind the winner in what is believed to be the closest finish in Olympic history.

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said the Olympic movement had lost a special man.

"John Treloar was a wonderful athlete, but an even greater man," Coates said.

"I saw John less than a fortnight ago at the reunion of the 1952 Helsinki team. He was greatly admired by that team, as he was by anyone he came into contact with."

Treloar, from NSW, considered one of the fastest men in the world between 1947 and 1952, won three gold medals at the 1950 Empire Games in Auckland, in the 100 and 200 yards, and the 4x100 yard relay.

In a statement to the AOC John Treloar Jr said of his father: 'Dad passed away exactly as he ran. Quickly'.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Treloar was a part of the 1952 Games which heralded Australia's emergence as a great sporting nation.

The PM said those Games helped shape the nation's reputation as a "formidable force" in international sport.

"His legacy to Australian sport will be showcased at the upcoming London Games in the passion of our athletics team which will strive to emulate his success and represent Australia," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ms Gillard said the thoughts of the nation were with Treloar's family and friends as they mourned his passing.

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