Tributes to Roger Bannister, who has died at age 88

Tributes to Roger Bannister, who has died at age 88”

Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes, has died at the age of 88.

According to a statement from his family, he died peacefully on Saturday in Oxford, England.

On May 6, 1954, Bannister became the first man to break the four-minute mile when he ran it in 3:59.4 seconds at a sports ground in Oxford. Bannister's record time only stood for 46 days before being broken by Australian runner John Landy, but Bannister's accomplishment forever changed the perception of what was possible in distance running. I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well. Bannister burst through the tape in 3:58.8.

Brasher's son Hugh, London Marathon event director, said Bannister's achievement puts him "at the very top" of athletics' all-time greats. He was an inspiration to so many, being the first man to break the 4-minute mile.

He was named the first chairman of the English Sports Council in 1971, and remained in that position until 1974. "I'd like to see it as a metaphor not only for sport, but for life and seeking challenges".

Additionally, the legendary runner also competed in the 1952 Olympics.

To Coe, another British world record holder at the mile, Bannister's landmark achievement in 1954 "transcended sport beyond athletics".

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The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson added: "Roger Bannister epitomised what it means to be a living legend".

Bannister, who was chosen as Sports Illustrated's first Sportsman of the Year in 1954, retired from competition and pursued a full-time career in neurology.

"Nobody had ever done the 200 and 400 at this level before and it was special for me too, pushing those boundaries and it was all inspired over the decades by Sir Roger Bannister". "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". The current women's world record holder is Russian athlete Svetlana Masterkova with a time of 4 minutes, 12.56 seconds set on August 14, 1996 in Zurich.

"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 married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955.

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

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