Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - British athletics great Roger Bannister has died: family



British athletics great Roger Bannister has died: family

Roger Bannister rings the original record bell at Oxford College on May 6, 2004 during the mile race to mark the 50th anniversary of his four-minute mile record in 1954. AFP
Roger Bannister rings the original record bell at Oxford College on May 6, 2004 during the mile race to mark the 50th anniversary of his four-minute mile record in 1954. AFP

British athletics great Roger Bannister has died: family

Record-breaking British athlete Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, has died aged 88, his family announced today.

“Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3rd March 2018, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them,” his family said.

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

Bannister gained global sporting glory on May 6, 1954, when he ran a mile (1.6 kilometres) three minutes 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford.

Half a century later, the Royal Mint celebrated Bannister’s record by issuing a 50 pence coin showing an athlete’s running legs against a stopwatch.

But despite being famed for breaking the four-minute barrier, Bannister said he felt a greater sense of achievement winning gold at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, beating his great rival Australian John Landy in a race later dubbed the “Miracle Mile.” .

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

“Vancouver was the pinnacle of my athletics career. It is very difficult to break records during Olympic competition, but winning races was better than holding world records.”

The current one-mile record has since 1999 been held by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3:43.13 secs.

But Bannister’s achievement has continued to inspire athletics enthusiasts, with the shoes he wore to break the four-minute barrier selling for a record.

The black-leather pair of shoes sold for £266,500 in September 2015 – about $409,000 at the exchange rate at the time.

By then Bannister was having trouble walking, let alone running, after revealing he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

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.

“I am being well looked after and I don’t intend to let it interfere – as much as I can,” he told the BBC in 2014.

“Just consider the alternatives – that is the way I look at it,” he added. “Intellectually I am not [degenerating] and what is walking anyway!”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The