Track and field used to be on television frequently in the 1970s. As a result, I know most of the runners from that era and many who have had Olympic success after that. For athletes who starred before that I don't know a lot. Reading these great bios should be fun and informative. Hey, I sound like the Sportscaster commercial!
Martin Lauer was a West German sprinter, decathlete and hurdler. Quite the athlete, he ran a relay (gold medal winners), did the hurdles and the deacathlon in the Olympics.
The card back tells a great story about the Zurich meet and its suspect timing. I didn't realize that automatic timing was already being used in 1959. I know that automatic timing has its own Sportscaster card so I will need to read up on that.
Hand timing has always been suspect due to inconsistencies. That is mentioned on the card. Well, one can still manipulate automatic times. I don't want to get into the details of that here.
Laird is shown racing Willie May of the USA. May won seven Big Ten titles while at Indiana. He also won a silver medal in the hurdles at the 1960 Olympics as Lauer finished fourth.
The picture doesn't appear to be from the Olympics since May ran the 110-meter hurdles in Rome. These hurdles are slightly staggered so the event pictured must have included turning.
May coached high school in Evanston, IL for a long time. He's been regarded as one of the state's best coaches. I ran against his teams when I was in school and I coached against him in his last year before retiring.