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Department of Premier and Cabinet

David John Chettle



David John Chettle (Member 1997)

b. 14 September 1951

With outstanding performances in track, cross country and road events at state, national and international level, David Chettle ranks as one of the best distance runners Tasmania has ever produced. At the Fukuoka marathon in Japan in 1975, David won the silver medal in a time of 2 hours 10 minutes and 20 seconds which was then the 6th fastest marathon ever run in the world.

On the track, one of his best wins was in the prestigious Zatopek 10,000 metres race in Melbourne. This event is regarded by athletes as the Australian championship because of the quality of the national and international competitors it attracts. In August 1977, David won the Australian senior cross country title. He was chosen three times to represent Australia at the world cross country titles:

  • in 1975 in Morocco
  • 1977 in Dusseldorf
  • 1979 in Limerick

The highlight of an illustrious career was his selection for the Olympic Games marathon in Montreal in 1976 where he was unfortunately forced to drop out at 25km. It was later diagnosed he had glandular fever and it took him some time to fully recover. He eventually did recover from that debilitating medical condition and in 1979 went to London for four years, winning titles in the United Kingdom,Italy and Germany as well as placing 8th in the 1981 Boston marathon.

He finished second in the 1978 World Cup marathon in 2:11:41. One of David's best performances on the international scene was in the 1979 Dartford half-marathon when he broke Steve Ovett's longstanding UK record with a time of 63:28.

He also competed in the 1978 Commonwealth Games at Edmonton and was placed 15th in the marathon there. A little known fact about Chettle's sporting career was that he also represented Tasmania in 1971 at the national basketball championships. His outstanding athletic career, though, entitles David Chettle to a place in the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame.