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Britain sports icon Roger Bannister pass away aged 88

05 March 2018

Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, has died.

His family said in a statement that Bannister "died peacefully...surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them". They say his death was peaceful and we was with his family at the time.

Bannister was recorded in Oxford on May 6, 1954 as the first to run under the four-minute mile, with 59.4 seconds mile.

His record lasted just 46 days as Landy ran 3:57.9 in Turku, Finland, on June 21, 1954. I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well.

After Bannister crossed the finish line, the announcer read out the time: "3".

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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". He was a boy who "just ran anywhere and everywhere - never because it was an end in itself, but because it was easier for me to run than to walk", Bannister wrote in "The First Four Minutes", his 1995 memoir.

Coe and Steve Cram, who followed in the spike tracks of the sport's first sub-four minute miler to also become world beaters, emphasised that, while Bannister had been their running hero, he meant so much more to the life of his home nation.

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

Bannister was chosen as Sports Illustrated's first Sportsman of the Year in 1954.

Bannister, known for strong finishes, passed Landy in the final turn to win what became known as the "Miracle Mile".

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Bannister gave up running to pursue a long and distinguished medical career.

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson's United Kingdom said: "We're very saddened to hear of the death of Sir Roger Bannister. Those are real achievements".

"There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track", Coe tweeted. 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.

TeamGB: "We are incredibly saddened by the death of Sir Roger Bannister, aged 88".

Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955. Bannister was knighted in 1975, and served as the Master of Pembroke College at Oxford University from 1985 until 1993.

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Britain sports icon Roger Bannister pass away aged 88