'Our greatest ever woman track and field athlete' – Tributes flow for Kiwi Olympian Yvette Williams

Yvette Williams is being remembered as one of the most important female figures in New Zealand's sporting history, having passed away last night.

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Williams passed away aged 89 and is remembered as one of NZ's best. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's first ever female Olympic gold medallist, Williams was a role model for sportswomen both on and off the field, with tributes flowing thick and fast, most notably from another New Zealand great.

"I think more than a pioneer, in my view and its personal, she's our greatest ever woman track and field athlete," fellow former Olympian Les Mills said.

"She didn't have what you call massive natural talent. She took the talent which was good which she had and shone it up until it was gold.

"It's hard not to almost be crying over it, I guess it's something men don't do, but it does bring a great sadness over me.

"I've never been able to figure out why a woman like that of immaculate character, and a huge inspiration has never been made a Dame."

Williams' success on the field was unparalleled in New Zealand's sporting history, winning four Commonwealth Games gold medals, as well as one silver across four different disciplines.