Although blessed with natural talent, she had to go to some length to exploit it. The nearest track was eight miles away. 'Each journey involved two buses,' she said. 'It was a case of finish work, eat, get the bus, train, get the bus home and go to bed, each day.'
Nevertheless, between 1957 and 1963, Hyman established herself as Britain's top woman sprinter of all time, taking 100 metres gold and 200m silver at the European Championships of 1958, 100m silver and 200m bronze at the 1960 Olympics, followed by double gold (100 yards and 200 yards) at the Commonwealth Games of 1962.
For all her success, Hyman, now 53, believes that she did not fully realise her potential. She retired after the 1964 Olympics and surrendered her amateur status by writing a book, Sprint to Fame. 'I was 24 and I felt I was ready to finish, but five years later I was running faster than I had all my life.'
Reinstated as an amateur for domestic competition, she won the WAAA 200m in 1969. 'But I could not run internationally so there did not seem much point in the end.'
Until five years ago, she coached, establishing the Dorothy Hyman Track Club in Barnsley. Employed for 30 years as a planning assistant with British Coal, she took redundancy four years ago and now works at a day care centre for the mentally handicapped. She lives in Stairfoot, near Barnsley.
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