First man in history to run "four minute mile" dies at 88

05 March, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Sir Roger Bannister Dies at 88; Was 1st Person to Run a Mile in Under 4 Minutes

Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes - a test of speed and endurance that was one of the defining sports achievements of the 20th century - died Saturday in Britain, his family confirmed.

Bannister set a time of three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on May 6, 1954, securing his place in history, even though the record was bettered 46 days later. Australian John Landy ran 3: 57.4 in Finland to set up a much-anticipated showdown between Bannister and Landy at the Empire Games, now called the Commonwealth Games, in Vancouver, British Columbia, on August 9, 1954.

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

That set the stage for the showdown between Bannister and Landy at the Empire Games, now called the Commonwealth Games, in Vancouver, British Columbia on August 9, 1954.

He attended schools in London and Bath, proving himself a skilled student and runner and earning a scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied medicine while continuing to shine in mile and 1,500-meter track competitions.

At the 1952 Summer Olympics, he finished fourth in the 1500-meter mile, setting a British record. No woman has ever run the mile in less than four minutes.

By then Bannister was having trouble walking, let alone running, after revealing he was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

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"One year after the coronation of a young Queen Elizabeth II and after man conquered Everest, Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile with the help of his friends Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher". That will never go away, Sir Roger Bannister - he's the man to do it first. "Life has its physical challenges, but I take every day as it comes", he said.

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

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Roger Bannister.

"None of my athletics was the greatest achievement", he said. He leaves behind his wife Moyra Jacobsson, their two sons, two daughters, and 14 grandchildren.

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". "Those are real achievements".

"There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track", tweeted Coe, who won two Olympic gold medals in the 1980s.

Bannister returned to Oxford in 1985 to become Master of Pembroke College, a position he held until 1993.

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