Clare Balding explains how the 1960s saw women athletes finally take centre stage.
In the final week of her series exploring how sport made Britain and Britain made sport, Clare Balding looks at the female British athletes of the 1960's who finally took centre stage on the podium and in the press.
She visits the home of the Birchfield Harriers in Birmingham, one of the country's leading athletics clubs. There she meets Norma Blaine who'd been coaching young women athletes since 1951. Norma remembers when women were unable to compete in any distance race over two hundred metres. Her friend, Diane Leather ran a five minute mile, (breaking the women's world record), the same week as Bannister broke the male world record but Diane's achievement was never acknowledged.
Clare explores the legacy of Anita Lonsborough,Dorothy Hyman, Anne Packer, Mary Rand and Lillian Board and asks if this golden age of female athletes can ever be repeated.
The series has been made with The International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester.
Technical presentation: John Benton
Producer: Lucy Lunt.