Roger Bannister, runner who broke the 4-minute mile, dies aged 88

Roger Bannister, runner who broke the 4-minute mile, dies aged 88

Roger Bannister's death at the age of 88 prompted a host of emotional tributes to athletics' great barrier breaker on Sunday with the sport's senior figure, Sebastian Coe, saluting him as the "man who made the impossible possible".

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.

Swedish runner Gundar Haegg's mile time of 4:01.4 had stood for nine years, but in 1954 Bannister, Australian rival John Landy and others were threatening to break it.

Bannister won gold over a mile at the 1954 Commonwealth Games, before later becoming a leading neurologist.

Bannister, who had Parkinson's disease since 2011, died in Oxford, where the runner achieved the feat in 1954.

"He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends", they added, in a statement published by the Press Association news agency. He was a boy who "just ran anywhere and everywhere - never because it was an end in itself, but because it was easier for me to run than to walk", Bannister wrote in "The First Four Minutes", his 1995 memoir.

"It will go on being broken until it gets down to 3:30", Bannister said in an interview with the Independent newspaper in 2004.

Sir Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes back in 1954Who holds the record for the fastest mile?

"He was running on cinder tracks, not tarmac tracks", he said.

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"This is a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics", said IAAF president Lord Coe, who set the record in the mile in 1981.

"He was an inspiration to those like me who sought to combine university with worldwide sport". As chairman of the Sports Council between 1971 and 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

He entered the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki as the United Kingdom record-holder in the mile, finishing a disappointing fourth in the 1,500-meter run.

London Marathon: "For some the word legend doesn't quite cut it. Rest in peace Sir Roger Bannister".

"He was an inspiration to so many being the first man to break the 4-minute mile".

Bannister stopped running to pursue a medical career.

"Around the last bend, I think the crowd was making so much noise he couldn't hear whether I was behind, or whether he'd dropped me, and he looked over his left shoulder, and I passed him on his right shoulder", Bannister said.

TeamGB: "We are incredibly saddened by the death of Sir Roger Bannister, aged 88".

In 1955, he married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist.

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