John van Reenen

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John van Reenen
Born (1947-03-26) 26 March 1947 (age 75)
Occupation Athlete

John van Reenen (born 26 March 1947) is a graphic artist and retired discus thrower from South Africa, who is best known for setting the world record in the men's discus event in 1975.

Competition record
Representing  South Africa
British National Championships (AAA)[1]
1st 1975


John van Reenen was born on 26 March 1947 in South Africa. As an athlete, his international competitive exposure was limited by the ban on South Africa from international games, imposed due to the aparteid regime at the time. He managed to compete overseas via representing his university Washington State University where he was pursuing his art studies on a scholarship (one of five offered to him) based on his athletics prowess. Van Reenen studied Fine Art throughout his athletics career, specialising in etchings.

In the 1970 season he twice broke the South African record whilst competing for WSU, but his major mark was in the spring of 1975, when on 14 March, at a meet in Stellenbosch, he threw 68.48m to set a new world record. He later won the British 3A's championship that year. Ten years on he won the South African national championships in 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Van Reenan became an artist and joined the studio of Jan Vermeiren [2] He lectured at the University of Stellenbosch his subject matter being Etchings. As an artist he found some success with his art having sold across the United States of America and throughout South Africa.

Van Reenen was inducted into the South African Sports Hall of Fame in February 2009 for his World Record Discus Throw.

External links


  2. André Philippus Brink, Jan Vermeiren: a Flemish artist in South Africa (Lannoo Uitgeverij), 2000 ISBN 90-209-4140-2, ISBN 978-90-209-4140-1
Preceded by
United States Jay Silvester
Sweden Ricky Bruch
Men's Discus World Record Holder
14 March 1975 – 3 May 1975
Succeeded by
United States John Powell