"What didn’t help was the fact I smoked. During the season, when I was competing, I cut down to seven cigarettes a day — but I spent a large part of the day thinking about nicotine and how long it was until the next one. Harold Abrahams, “Mr Athletics”, wrote me a letter saying: “Once you have given up [running] you have the rest of your life in which you can smoke.” -Chris Chataway (timesonline.co.uk)
Chataway set a world record for 5,000 meters in 1955 with a 13:51, but he is perhaps better known as one of Roger Bannister's pacers on May 6, 1954 when Bannister became the first to break the 4 minute barrier for one mile.
MY COMMENT: Unbelievable! I am very curious if he smoked at all on race day, and also how good he may have been had he not smoked.