Diane Leather Charles


Plaque name:

Diane Leather Charles


Walsall Rd, Birmingham, Perry Bar, United Kingdom , B42 2LR

Event discipline:

One Mile

Plaque awarded:



Plaque Category - Legend

Diane Leather Charles (GBR) 1933 - 2018

On 29 May 1954 in Birmingham, England, Diane Leather became the first woman to run one mile in under 5 minutes (4:59.6). Despite her run coming in the same month and only weeks after Bannister’s sub-4, her feat went largely unheralded.

Leather, a two-time European silver medallist at 800m, ran her fastest Mile time of 4mins 45 seconds, in 1954 at London’s White City stadium. Her world’s best time remained unbeaten by a woman until 1962.

The mile distance for women didn’t become officially ratifiable for world records until 1967.

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