David Theile (centre) with his 1956 Olympics gold medal.
David Theile (centre) with his 1956 Olympics gold medal.

Theile should be higher in the Greatest 100

GREATEST 100: We are stoked Maryborough swimming legend David Theile jagged a place in Queensland 100 Greatest sports stars of all time but surely the Olympic champion should have finished higher.

Theile was ranked No.21 by the independent panel of judges, which has ranked the 100 best sports stars in our proud state's history and is counted down in this week's Chronicle.

Queensland's Greatest 100 sports stars

The top 10 will be revealed in tomorrow's Chronicle, where Theile should have been.

He was the quickest in the 100m backstroke at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and again in Rome four years later.

An International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee in 1958 and Sport Australia Hall of Famer in 1985, Theile remains the only Australian man to win the 100m backstroke at an Olympic Games.

He achieved those honours while studying medicine at the University of Queensland, and he has gone on to be one of the state's most respected surgeons and medical administrators.

He dominated his sport while having to juggle tertiary study and the limitations of the day, which should have given his case more weight than modern stars.