|Full name||Allan Frederick Wood|
|Born||16 May 1943|
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||10 October 2022 (aged 79)|
Tugun, Queensland, Australia
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
Allan Frederick Wood (16 May 1943 – 10 October 2022) was an Australian freestyle swimmer, who won bronze medals in the 400-metre and 1500-metre freestyle events at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He spent his entire career in the shadow of fellow Australian distance freestyle swimmers Murray Rose and Bob Windle who won Olympic gold medals.
Early life and career
Coming from Wollongong, Wood made his debut at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he was a member of the 4×200-metre freestyle relay team, swimming in the heats. Although the team of John Devitt, John Konrads, David Dickson, and Rose proceeded to claim bronze in the final, Wood was not awarded a medal, as heat swimmers were not entitled to one until 1984.
Wood had been expected to do well at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Western Australia, as he was the Australian 880-yard freestyle champion. However, a last-minute public appeal brought Rose back from the United States, where he was studying and competing in the US collegiate system. Wood was relegated to silver in the 440-yard freestyle behind Rose, and bronze in the 1650-yard freestyle, behind Rose and Windle. Wood won a gold medal in the 4×220-yard freestyle relay, alongside Windle, Rose, and Tony Strahan and help to set a world record in the process.
1964 Summer Olympics
Prior to the Tokyo Olympics, Wood's coach, Don Talbot, strove to change Wood's technique, slowing down the stroke rate, but increasing the deepness of the strokes. This paid dividends at the Olympics when Wood, who had never swum faster than 4 minutes, 20 seconds in the 400-metre freestyle, dropped his personal best to 4 minutes, 15.1 seconds, to claim bronze behind American Don Schollander and East Germany's Frank Wiegand. In the 1500-metre freestyle, Wood posted a time of 17 minutes, 7.7 seconds, a 20-second drop in his personal best, in a race won by Windle in Olympic record time. Among the swimmers who Wood defeated was Roy Saari, the world record holder in the event. Wood narrowly missed a third medal when he, Windle, Dickson, and Peter Doak finished fourth in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay.
Wood retired from swimming competitively after the 1964 Olympics and became a swimming coach. Later in life, he moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland, and bred horses in the Currumbin Valley. In 1984, he received his bronze medal from the 1960 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee awarding them retrospectively.
On 10 October 2022, Wood died of cancer at John Flynn Private Hospital in Tugun, Gold Coast. He was 79.
- ^ a b c Hanson, Ian (12 October 2022). "Australia's Rome and Tokyo Olympic Bronze Medallist Allan Wood Passes Away On The Gold Coast, Aged 79". Swimming World. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
- ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Allan Wood". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020.
- ^ a b c d Andrews, Malcolm (2000). Australia at the Olympic Games. Sydney, New South Wales: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. pp. 469–470. ISBN 0-7333-0884-8.
- ^ Theodoulou, Noelle (18 October 2022). "Two-Time Australian Olympian Allan Wood Dies at 79". SwimSwam. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
- 1943 births
- 2022 deaths
- Australian male freestyle swimmers
- Sportspeople from Wollongong
- Swimmers at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Swimmers at the 1964 Summer Olympics
- Olympic swimmers for Australia
- Olympic bronze medalists in swimming
- Medalists at the 1964 Summer Olympics
- Olympic bronze medalists for Australia
- Commonwealth Games medallists in swimming
- Commonwealth Games gold medallists for Australia
- Commonwealth Games silver medallists for Australia
- Commonwealth Games bronze medallists for Australia
- Swimmers at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
- Deaths from cancer in Queensland
- Medallists at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
- Sportsmen from New South Wales