Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

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

First man in history to run

"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, the first man to run a sub-four minute mile, has died at the age of 88.

Tributes have flooded in for record-breaking athlete Sir Roger Bannister following his death at the age of 88.

He also became the first chairman of the body now known as Sport England (formerly the Sports Council) and was knighted for his services in 1975. "What a great period that must have been to be alive".

On a windy late afternoon in Oxford on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran four laps on a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds to crack the mythical 4-minute mile - a feat many had thought humanly impossible.

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In March of 1994, Sir Roger Bannister holds a photograph of himself breaking the four-minute mile barrier for the first time on May 6, 1954.

"Vancouver was the pinnacle of my athletics career". "As officer of a student club I corresponded with him occasionally; he was ever the consummate gentleman".

Cram felt the next generation of athletes were just as inspired by Bannister's legacy.

The 25-year-old Bannister had reached "one of man's hitherto unattainable goals", the New York Times reported the next day. Bannister's assault allowed mankind to enter a world filled with new possibilities. "He was an inspiration to so many".

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". It was as much of a psychological barrier as it was a physical barrier.

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Women's marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe tweeted: "Saddened to hear the news that we have lost one of the true pioneers, trailblazers and iconic inspirations of our sport".

"Every athlete owes a great debt of gratitude to Sir Roger Bannister", Johnson told the BBC."He set up the idea for athletes of pushing the limits of human achievement, like (long jumper) Bob Beamon went on to do".

Globally, too, Bannister's legacy was enduring with the great USA sprinter Michael Johnson crediting him as the inspiration behind his ground-breaking bid to combine the 200 and 400 metres.

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

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