WELLINGTON.- The singlet New Zealand athletics legend Peter Snell wore when he won two gold medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics sold for NZ$140,000 ($100,000) Tuesday, smashing auction estimates.
New Zealand's national museum Te Papa said it was overjoyed to buy the item, which is stained, slightly torn and still bears the number 466 bib Snell wore in Japan.
"Its a great thrill for New Zealand and an item that has so much to tell us about our history, and the history of sport," chief executive Rick Ellis said.
Snell won the 800m and 1500m in Tokyo, only the second man to claim the double at the same Games.
He also won the 800m in Rome four years earlier and held numerous middle-distance world records during a glittering career that saw him named New Zealand's athlete of the century in 2000.
The seller of the singlet has not been publicly identified.
Snell, who now lives in the United States, said that he believed he gave the garment away decades ago for a charity event.
Auckland auctioneer Cordy's estimated the singlet would fetch NZ$50,000 and Snell said he found it hard to believe it was worth even that much.
"It's absolutely ridiculous, I don't know if they have got it right. I might pay a couple of hundred (dollars)," he told Radio New Zealand earlier this month.
Te Papa said it paid a NZ$122,500 "hammer price", which rose to NZ$140,875 when a buyer's premium was included.
It said the singlet would eventually go on public display at the museum.
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