Roger Bannister about to cross the tape at the end of his record-breaking mile run at Iffley Road, Oxford. I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well. Bannister burst through to win the gold by crossing the line in 3 minutes and 58.8 seconds. He had smashed the world record of 4 minutes, 1.4 seconds, set nearly nine years earlier by Gunder Haegg of Sweden.
"Just consider the alternatives - that is the way I look at it", he added. Because many runners had gotten close to the four-minute barrier without beating it, sports writers of the day just started advancing this notion that experts believed the feat to be impossible, in sort of the same way that experts once warned the human body could not endure speeds of greater than 60 miles per hour.
Six weeks later, on August 7, 1954, Bannister and Landy faced off at the British Empire Games in Vancouver.
Bannister and Landy then competed at the Empire Games, now called the Commonwealth Games, in Vancouver, British Columbia on August 9, 1954.
Australian Landy led for most of the race but Bannister passed him on the final bend and won the race by almost a second, both men going under four minutes and Bannister running a career-best 3:58.8.
Bannister capped his brilliant summer of 1954 by winning the 1,500 meters at the European Championships in Bern, Switzerland, in a games record of 3:43.8. Sports Illustrated named him its first "Sportsman of the Year".
He also became the first chairman of the body now known as Sport England (formerly the Sports Council) and was knighted for his services in 1975. Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj set the current record, 3:43:13, in 1999 in Rome. "Sir Roger Bannister showed that barriers are there to be broken and there are no limits".
Bannister was born in 1929 in Harrow, England. He was an inspiration to so many, being the first man to break the 4-minute mile. No woman has ever run the mile in less than four minutes. He was in his final year as a clinical student when he broke that barrier.
After his racing career, Bannister went on to be a distinguished neurologist, working well into his eighties.
He wrote or edited medical texts such as "Brain and Bannister's Clinical Neurology" in 1992.
In 1955, he married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist.
When a 1975 vehicle accident injured his ankle and put a stop to his running, he turned to cycling for exercise.
He long maintained that the most important mark he made was not in running, but in medicine.
I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Roger Bannister.
"He was an inspiration to those like me who sought to combine university with worldwide sport".
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