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Roger Bannister, 1st to run sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88

Roger Bannister, 1st to run sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88

Roger Bannister, 1st to run sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "Sir Roger Bannister was more than simply one of the greatest athletes of all time - by breaking the four-minute mile he redefined what was thought impossible, and inspired the world".

Bannister's family said in a statement that he died peacefully on Saturday in Oxford, the English city where the runner cracked the feat many had thought humanly impossible on a windy afternoon in 1954.

Bannister's family confirmed his death, the BBC said on Sunday.

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. Bannister later wrote of the final moments of the race: "I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well".

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

Seb Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said Bannister's death marked "a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics". He was an inspiration to so many, being the first man to break the 4-minute mile. He was knighted in 1975 for his service as the first Chairman of Britain's Sports Council, according to The Telegraph.

"He was an inspiration to those like me who sought to combine university with global sport".

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26/6/04 Roger Bannister holds the Olympic Torch aloft.

At St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Bannister turned the focus of his athletic training to the four-minute mile.

The two men competed at the Commonwealth Games in Canada later in 1954 in a race billed as the "Miracle Mile".

"Nobody had ever done the 200 and 400 at this level before and it was special for me too, pushing those boundaries and it was all inspired over the decades by Sir Roger Bannister".

After his racing career, Bannister went on to be a distinguished neurologist, working well into his eighties. The current women's world record holder is Russian athlete Svetlana Masterkova with a time of 4 minutes, 12.56 seconds set on August 14, 1996 in Zurich.

"At the age of 88 he was still an active supporter of the University and we will miss him enormously". With his wife, Moyra Jacobsson, a portrait painter and daughter of a Swedish economist, he had four children.

Bannister also served as master of Oxford's Pembroke College from 1985-93. Chataway died in 2014 at 82.

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