Brian Glanville was once a sports columnist and this is most nearly comparable to his The Rise of Gerry Logan (1965) and deals with that of a wonder miler, an eighteen-year-old Cockney kid, Ike Low. Ike becomes the protege of a maverick vegetarian coach, Sam Dee, proprietary, restrictive and relentless. Sam's singleness of purpose excludes any coupling--even the seemingly perfect marriage of Ike and Jill. However, Ike pulls a muscle during the first Olympiad in Rome and never quite regains his earlier confidence. With a world record set and broken in between, as well as separations and reunions with both Jill and Sam, Ike is last seen contending in another Olympiad in Tokyo where four minutes will determine the worth of four years. . . . Lap by strenuously second-splitting lap, it streaks.