Sports

Roger Bannister, First to Run Sub Four-Minute Mile, Dies at 88

Roger Bannister, First to Run Sub Four-Minute Mile, Dies at 88”

Bannister, who went on to pursue a long and distinguished medical career, had been slowed by Parkinson's disease in recent years.

Bannister's athletic achievement was made on May 6, 1954, in Oxford, England.

"His achievement transcended sport, let alone athletics".

The British athlete's death was confirmed by family on Sunday in a statement to BBC News. "Sir Roger Bannister showed that barriers are there to be broken and there are no limits".

"The first book I read was (Bannister's book) The Four-Minute Mile; my coach (Jimmy Hedley) used to get me to sit and watch that grainy film in the days before YouTube", said Cram. We have all lost a giant and for many a deep close friendship.

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Coe ran a mile in a world record 3 minutes, 47.33 seconds in 1981 between winning gold medals in the 1,500 meters at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

"That to me is a greater source of satisfaction than happening to move my body at a certain speed for a few moments in 1954", he said in a 2012 interview with the New York Times.

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

"But beyond that, he was part of that pioneering spirit which seemed to exist in the 1950s - with a new Queen on the throne, Everest being conquered, the new TV age and the idea that you could do anything you put your mind to in barrier-breaking". He was such a gentleman, so able to give encouragement to all the generations of athletes coming through and he'll be so sorely missed. His assault on the four-minute barrier was meticulously planned and beautifully executed.

"The world's best runners had been attempting the 4-minute barrier for a quarter of a century". "I'd like to see it as a metaphor not only for sport, but for life and seeking challenges". Among other things, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids as chairman of the Sports Council from 1971 to 1974.

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British Athletics: "All at British Athletics are incredibly saddened by the passing of Sir Roger Bannister at the age of 88. Rest in Peace Roger".

"He was a man of great distinction and honour in every sense".

Bannister considered that victory even more satisfying than the first 4-minute mile because it came in a competitive race against his greatest rival.

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".

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