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Former marathon Olympic champion Mimoun dies at 92

Former French Athletism champion Alain Mimoun holds the Olympic Flame during Day 21 of the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay, June 25, 2004 in
Former French Athletism champion Alain Mimoun holds the Olympic Flame during Day 21 of the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay, June 25, 2004 in

PARIS (Reuters) - Former Olympic champion Alain Mimoun, who won the marathon for France at the Melbourne Games in 1956, has died at the age of 92, the French Athletics Federation said on Friday.

Algeria-born Mimoun was nicknamed "The Zatopek Shadow" following three second-place finishes behind Czech Emil Zatopek at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

But he managed to make the most of his rival's rare failure in Melbourne to claim gold.

Around 50 athletics stadiums in France are named after Mimoun, who also won four Mediterranean Games gold medals and 33 national titles during his running years.

(Reporting by Olivier Guillemain and Gregory Blachier, editing by Tony Goodson)

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