New Straits Times

Athletics legend Roger Bannister dies


LONDON: Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a subfour minute mile, has died aged 88 in Oxford, his family said.

A statement released on behalf of Sir Roger's family said: “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.

“He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends.”

He broke the four-minute mile record on May 6, 1954 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford.

His exact time was 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.

About 3,000 people watched as he pulled off the feat, despite worries beforehand over the windy weather.

His record, however, only lasted 46 days.

But his achievemen­t was all the more remarkable because he had minimal training and was practising as a junior doctor at the time.

In the buildup to the London Olympics in 2012, he carried the Olympic torch around the same track where he broke the record.

In 2014, he revealed he was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Bannister, who went on to have a distinguis­hed career as a neurologis­t, said he had been diagnosed with the condition in 2011 but had refrained from speaking publicly about it.

His work as a neurologis­t led to a greater understand­ing of degenerati­ve disease and disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

Decades of neurologic­al training, clinical work and research at the National Hospital and St Mary's Hospital in London made him an expert on Parkinson’s many years before he was diagnosed.

He said: “I am having troubles with walking. Ironically it is a neurologic­al disorder — Parkinson’s.

“There’s a gentle irony to it. I have seen and looked after patients with so many neurologic­al and other disorders that I am not surprised I have acquired an illness. It’s in the nature of things.”

 ??  ?? Sir Roger Bannister
Sir Roger Bannister

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