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04/03/2018 15:00 SAST | Updated 04/03/2018 15:00 SAST

Roger Bannister, First Runner To Break The Four-Minute Mile, Dies At 88

After breaking the record, he returned to his studies and became a doctor.

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Bannister crosses the line of his record-breaking run in 1954

Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a sub-four minute mile, has died aged 88.

The record-breaking runner died in Oxford, his family confirmed on Sunday.

Bannister achieved the feat in three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Oxford's Iffley Road sports ground on 6 May 1954.

The 25-year-old was studying medicine at the University of Oxford at the time.

Bannister's record stood for just 46 days, beaten by Australian John Landy, but it nevertheless marked a milestone in athletics.

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Bannister did not pursue a career in running past 1954, when he retired to continue his studies.

He went on to become a consultant neurologist, though continued running for fitness until an injury prevented this.

Bannister was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.

A statement released on behalf of his 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."

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