Roger Bannister, First to Break the 4-Minute Mile, Dead at 88

Credit Associated Press
Credit Associated Press
Author

05 March, 2018

Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes, has died at the age of 88. He was "surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them", the family said.

The record breaker was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.

Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile on May 6, 1954.

Bannister gained global sporting glory on May 6, 1954, when he ran a mile (1.6 kilometres) in three minutes 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford.

While studying medicine at Oxford, he took up athletics. Bannister's record would last just 46 days, but that hardly mattered.

Cram, who broke the mile world record in 1985, told Reuters in Birmingham:"Bannister really started off that great British tradition of great middle-distance runners which people like Seb (Coe), Steve (Ovett) and myself were able to continue".

After Bannister crossed the finish line, the announcer read out the time: "3".

"I felt pretty exhausted at the end, but I knew that I would just about make it", he told reporters.

The world of athletics stopped to watch Roger Bannister run as a black-and-white video was shown on a giant screen at the world indoor athletics championships on Sunday. "The four-minute time sought by every great miler for 20 years was beaten by the slim, sandy-haired medical student in a dual meet at Oxford University".

Six weeks later, on August 7, 1954, Bannister and Landy faced off at the British Empire Games in Vancouver.

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In 1954, Bannister retired from racing and studied neurology. "The time was 3..." Sports Illustrated named him its first "Sportsman of the Year". Among other things, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids as chairman of the Sports Council from 1971 to 1974. Someone was going to break that barrier and it turned out to be him. "Since I did it, it has gone down a third of a second a year, on average".

Roger Gilbert Bannister was born March 23, 1929, in Harrow, near London.

"The four-minute mile stood out".

The 1,500-meter race is usually run instead of the mile in global competition.

Additionally, the legendary runner also competed in the 1952 Olympics.

Bannister then gave up running to pursue a long and distinguished medical career.

Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955.

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

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


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