First four-minute miler, Roger Bannister, no more

First four-minute miler, Roger Bannister, no more

First four-minute miler, Roger Bannister, no more

Record-breaking British athlete Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, has died aged 88.

"Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on March 3, 2018, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them," his family said.

"He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends," they added.

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

The current one-mile record has since 1999 been held by Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3:43.13 secs.

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".

"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.

Half a century later after Bannister's record, the Royal Mint celebrated the occasion by issuing a 50 pence coin showing an athlete's running legs against a stopwatch.

Despite being famed for breaking the four-minute barrier, Bannister said he felt a greater sense of achievement winning gold at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, beating his great rival Australian John Landy in a race later dubbed the "Miracle Mile".

"I think that racing in the Olympics and Commonwealths is more important than breaking records," Bannister said in 2014.

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