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Dashed Down in the Sun


The temperature in the grandstand at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia climbed to 103.7°, the hottest for a November day in 49 years. But the shirtless spectators with the nose shades and straw hats (right) had it cool compared to the athletes on the stadium floor. There the midday sun superheated the atmosphere to a searing 147°. Even sprinters, who are usually immune to atmospheric conditions, seemed to melt before the blowtorch blast. Canada's Harry Jerome, co-holder of the world record in the 100-yard dash, wilted in his favorite event and finished dead last. Because of the heat, the six-mile run was postponed until 5 in the afternoon. A cooling breeze (known locally as the "Fremantle doctor") dropped the temperature to a comparatively chilling 84°, but Canada's Bruce Kidd (below right), taking no chances with the treacherous sun, planted a white-peaked cap on his brow and redeemed Jerome's defeat by dogging Australia's Dave Power until the last lap, then sprinting ahead to win by 45 yards. Afterward Kidd took off his shoes and hopped in the steeplechase water jump to cool his feet.