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

05 March 2018

Roger Bannister, the British athlete famed as the first man in history to run the four-minute mile, has died at the age of 88.

Bannister accomplished a feat many deemed impossible when he ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds at Oxford's Iffley Road track on May 6, 1954.

Australian John Landy went faster in the following month with a time of 3:57.9.

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

"He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends", they added, in a statement published by the Press Association news agency.

No female athlete has ever cracked the four-minute mile. "Sir Roger Bannister showed that barriers are there to be broken and there are no limits".

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British Prime Minister Theresa May described Bannister as "a great British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all".

"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.

The 1,500-meter race is usually run instead of the mile in worldwide competition.

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

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

Additionally, the legendary runner also competed in the 1952 Olympics. "The first person you're taught to look up to is Roger Bannister". Supposedly, the smartest and most plugged-in observers had concluded that human beings simply were not capable of running a mile in less than four minutes, and so Bannister's having done it was not only a historic achievement, but a scientific one too. As chairman of the Sports Council between 1971 and 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

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The condition progressively damages part of the brain over time and is one Bannister was familiar with, even before he was first diagnosed a few years ago, from his lengthy career as neurologist.

"At the age of 88 he was still an active supporter of the University and we will miss him enormously".

"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.

Bannister returned to Oxford in 1985 to become Master of Pembroke College, a position he held until 1993.

In 1955, he married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist.

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