SIR ROGER BANNISTER Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Roger Bannister                                                                   
Born: 23 March 1929                                                                     
Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CBE (born March 23, 1929) is an English former             
athlete best known as the first man to run the mile in less than 4 minutes.             
Bannister became a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College,           
Oxford, before retiring in 2001. He is also one of the major shareholders of           
Birmingham City F.C.. He was born in Harrow, London.                                   
Bannister was educated at the City of Bath Boys' Grammar School, Beechen Cliff         
School, University College School, London, Exeter College and Merton College,           
Oxford, and at St Mary's Hospital Medical School (now part of Imperial College         
Bannister was inspired by miler Sydney Wooderson's remarkable comeback in 1945.         
Eight years after setting the mile record and seeing it surpassed during the war       
years by the great Swedish runners Arne Andersson and Gunder Hagg, Wooderson           
regained his old form and challenged Andersson over the distance in several             
races. Wooderson lost to Andersson, but set a British record of 4:04.2 in               
Goteborg on 9 September.                                                               
Like Wooderson, Bannister would ultimately set a mile record, see it broken,           
then set a new personal best inferior to the new record.                               
Bannister started his running career at Oxford in the autumn of 1946 when 17. He       
had never worn running spikes previously or run on a track. His training was           
light, even compared to the standards of the day, but he showed promise in             
running a mile in 1947 in 4:24.6 on only three weekly half-hour training               
He was selected as an Olympic "possible" in 1948, but declined as he felt he was       
not ready to compete at that level. However, he was further inspired to become a       
great miler by watching the 1948 Olympics. He set his training goals on the 1952       
games in Helsinki.                                                                     
In 1949, he improved in the 880 yards to 1:52.7 and won several mile races in 4:11.     
Then, after a period of six weeks with no training, he came in third at White           
City in 4:14.2.                                                                         
The year 1950 saw more improvements, as he finished a relatively slow 4:13 mile         
on 1 July with an impressive 57.5 last quarter. Then, he ran the AAA 880 in 1:52.1,     
losing to Arthur Wint, then ran 1:50.7 for the 800 m at the European                   
Championships on 26 August, placing third. Chastened by this lack of success,           
Bannister started to train harder and more seriously.                                   
His increased attention to training paid quick dividends, as he won a mile race         
in 4:09.9 on 30 December, then in 1951 at the Penn Relays, Bannister broke away         
from the pack with a 56.7 final lap, finishing in 4:08.3. Then, in his biggest         
test to date, he won a mile race on 14 July in 4:07.8 at the AAA Championships         
at White City before 47,000 people. The time set a meet record and he defeated         
defending champion Bill Nankeville in the process.                                     
Bannister suffered defeat, however, when Yugoslav Andrija Otenhajmer, aware of         
Bannister's final-lap kick, took a 1500 m race in Belgrade 25 August out at near-record 
pace, forcing Bannister to close the gap by the bell lap. Otnehajmer won in 3:47.0,     
Bannister set a personal best finishing second in 3:48.4. Bannister was no             
longer seen as invincible.