Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes, dies aged 88

Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a sub-four minute mile, has died aged 88 in Oxford, England, his family have 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."

IAAF president Lord Coe paid tribute to Bannister.

"On the 6 May 1954, Roger made the impossible possible," said Coe in quotes on the IAAF website.

"One year after the coronation of a young Queen Elizabeth II and after man conquered Everest, Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile with the help of his friends Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher.

"The world's best runners had been attempting the four-minute barrier for a quarter of a century. It was as much of a psychological barrier as it was a physical barrier. Bannister's assault allowed mankind to enter a world filled with new possibilities.

"His achievement transcended sport, let alone athletics. It was a moment in history that lifted the heart of a nation and boosted morale in a world that was still at a low ebb after the war.

"We have all lost a giant and, for many of us, a deep and close friendship."

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