3/4/2018 5:28:23 PM

British athletics great Roger Bannister dies aged 88

British athletics great Roger Bannister dies aged 88

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

"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) in three minutes 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford.

Seb Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said Bannister's death marked "a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics". 

"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.

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

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

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