Sir Roger Bannister, broke the four-minute-mile barrier, dies at 88

Mae Harvey
March 5, 2018

The first man recorded to run a mile in less than four minutes, British athlete Roger Bannister, has passed away at the age of 88.

Bannister broke the four minute mile in Oxford on May 6, 1954, completing the feat in three minutes and 59.4 seconds, according to ESPN.

Bannister, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2011, died at his home in Oxford, his family said in a brief announcement on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

"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".

"He will be greatly missed", she wrote on Twitter.

He might not have set the milestone but for the disappointment of finishing without a medal in the 1,500 meters, known as the metric mile, in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He clocked in at 3 minutes 59.4 seconds, a record at the time.

Later in 1954, Bannister won the 1,500 meters at the European Championships in Bern, Switzerland, in a games record of 3:43.8.

Coe, who had learned the news just before the launch of a new IAAF Heritage initiative created to showcase the sport's former greats such as Bannister, said:"This is a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics".

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

No female athlete has ever cracked the four-minute mile. He was knighted in 1975 for his service as the first Chairman of Britain's Sports Council, according to The Telegraph.

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah described Bannister as "always humble, supportive and encouraging" and "an inspiration to so many".

He retired from competitive running and he then had a full-time career in neurology. "My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren".

"He was running on cinder tracks, not tarmac tracks", he said. "Those are real achievements".

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".

Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of Oxford University, said: "My wife and I were very sad to hear about Roger Bannister's death".

Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955. Chataway died in 2014 at 82.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article