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News > Old Berkhamstedians from the Past > Alan Pennington

Alan Pennington

A talented sprinter, Alan competed for Great Britain at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Alan Penington in the 1934 athletics team at Berkhamsted School (centre behind cups)
Alan Penington in the 1934 athletics team at Berkhamsted School (centre behind cups)
Alan Pennington joined Berkhamsted School as a boarder in 1931. Although Alan was an excellent all-round sportsman, representing the school in both the 1st XI Cricket and the 1st XV Rugby teams, he was a particularly talented athlete. Alan was awarded the Victor Ludorum prize for the best athlete every year between 1932 and 1935. 

After Berkhamsted, Alan attended Oxford University where he continued to excel on the track. As well as being President of Athletics in his final year, Alan was unbeaten in the Oxford and Cambridge team tour to the USA in 1937. Alan also set the British junior record of 49.6 seconds for the 440 yard sprint.

In 1936, Alan competed in the Berlin Olympic Games where he competed against Jesse Owens in the 100m semi-final. Unfortunately, a pulled Achilles tendon prevented Alan from progressing into the finals. After the Olympics, Alan won numerous medals in competitions across Europe, such as a bronze medal in the 200m at the 1938 European Championships. After the Second World War, Alan chose not return to a career in athletics. 

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