They were as wrong as they could be. What they saw was one of the greatest mile races in history. Tabori, Chataway and Hewson all ran the mile in less than four minutes, and this barely a year after Bannister had first burst past that great barrier.
Tabori ran third through the 59.9-second first lap behind Alan Gordon, who was in the race as a pace setter, and Chataway. Hewson was a close fourth. Gordon still led at the half mile in a sparkling 2:00.8, a good stride ahead of the youthful Hewson, who had moved up into second place. Chataway and Tabori were third and fourth, close behind Hewson.
On the backstretch of the third lap Gordon faltered and Hewson swept by into the lead, driving ahead, as Norris McWhirter reported in Athletics World, "because with amazing confidence he thought that he could run away to win under four minutes."
Hewson led at the�-mile mark in 3:02. This time was excellent in itself, but if a four-minute mile were to be achieved the last quarter mile would have to be run in less than 58 seconds. And Chataway and Tabori, second and third, were three and four yards back of Hewson.
The last lap produced everything that could have been demanded of it. It was run in less than 58 seconds, and by all three men. It provided a tremendous finish and it proved the validity of what Norris McWhirter calls mile-running's two "Laws of Acceleration."
"Entering the back straight," McWhirter wrote, "Tabori closed up and Chataway put on an unsustained tactical kick. He who accelerates twice is lost. Coming off the last turn Tabori, who had lain third while Hew-son and Chataway were rubbing shoulders, moved late and decisively from behind, only 50 yards from home. He who accelerates from behind wins."
Tabori challenged Chataway and Hewson on that last turn, and Chataway, seeing him, tried to increase his own effort and pass Hewson. "A mistake," he said later, "trying to pass on a bend. Wrong." But Tabori, heedless of the extra yardage, passed both Chataway and Hewson in a tremendous burst of speed and came into the home stretch in front. He broke the tape five yards ahead of Chataway, who was barely inches in front of Hewson. Tabori was timed in 3:59, both the Englishmen in 3:59.8.
That phenomenal mile race sent Tabori's name racing around the world. Two days later Iharos sent his own name racing after.
He felt better now after his airsickness and decided to run in the two-mile race. He would have preferred to have run in the mile two days before. The plain bald fact was that Iharos had never run a two-mile race in his life. But nitchevo, he thought he'd try.
Tabori, also unfamiliar with the two-mile distance, entered the race to pace Iharos. The two have always worked well together, although Tabori usually plays second fiddle. The prime British opposition was Ken Wood, another inexperienced two-miler who had never broken nine minutes for the distance.