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Roger Bannister, first to run mile under 4 minutes, dies at 88

05 March, 2018, 01:01 | Author: John Swanson
  • What is the record for running a mile, after death of Sir Roger Bannister?

Bannister, who broke the four-minute barrier at Iffley Road in Oxford in 1954, passed away on Saturday after battling Parkinson's Disease in his later years.

Bannister, who was a medical student at the time, clocked a time of 3 minutes 59.4 second at a sports ground in Oxford on May 6, 1954, to beat a record by Swedish runner Gundar Haegg of 4:01.4 that had stood for nine years.

Australian John Landy went faster in the following month with a time of 3:57.9.

The two men competed at the Commonwealth Games in Canada later in 1954 in a race billed as the "Miracle Mile". "He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends". No woman has ever run the mile in less than four minutes. Someone was going to break that barrier and it turned out to be him.

Prime Minister Theresa May paid respects to the late athlete on social media "Sir Roger Bannister was a great British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all".

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British long-distance runner Jo Pavey, a former European champion over 10,000 metres, said Bannister was a "true hero".

Coe, who had learned the news just before the launch of a new IAAF Heritage initiative created to showcase the sport's former greats such as Bannister, said:"This is a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics".

At the 1952 Summer Olympics, he finished fourth in the 1500-meter mile, setting a British record.

"He was an inspiration to those like me who sought to combine university with global sport". It was the first time two men had run under 4 minutes in the same race. He was knighted in 1975.

Bannister, who was chosen as Sports Illustrated's first Sportsman of the Year in 1954, retired from competition and pursued a full-time career in neurology.

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Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson's United Kingdom said: "We're very saddened to hear of the death of Sir Roger Bannister".

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said Bannister's death represented a "day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics".

With pacing help from teammates Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, Bannister ran the first lap in 57.5 seconds, the next two in a little over a minute each.

In 1955, he married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist.

Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of Oxford University, said: "My wife and I were very sad to hear about Roger Bannister's death".

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