A look back at when Roger Bannister ran the mile in under four minutes

A look back at when Roger Bannister ran the mile in under four minutesPrevious

By Press Association

Roger Bannister is one of the 20th century’s great sporting icons after becoming the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.

Bannister’s feat in 1954 was a defining moment in sport. It made front-page headlines across the world and inspired a nation still gripped by post-war austerity.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at the day a trainee doctor from Harrow debunked the myth about the four-minute mile.The build-upJack Lovelock set the world mile record in 1933 (PA)

Early 20th-century sportswriters claimed it was impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes, but by the time New Zealand’s Jack Lovelock won 1500 metres gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in a time which converted to a 4:05 mile, people began talking about the barrier being broken. Swedish greats Arne Andersson and Gundar Hagg swapped world mile records, the latter trimming it to 4:01.4 in 1945. Australia’s John Landy emerged from his revolutionary training regime to threaten the landmark on numerous occasions in 1953 and 1954, as did American Wes Santee. Each attempt became a global event and after repeated failures the four-minute mile became “the Everest of track and field”.Bannister’s star risesRoger Bannister is pictured running for Oxford University (PA)

While studying medicine at Oxford University, Bannister’s running career began in 1946 as a 17-year-old when he ran for the first time on a track. At 6ft 2in with a rangy stride he was a prodigious talent, but turned down a place on Great Britain’s 1948 Olympic team, claiming he was not ready to compete at that level. He missed out on a medal in the 1500m final at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, finishing fourth, and after that disappointment set his heart on becoming the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. He intensified his own training, broke the British record by running 4:03.6 in May 1953 and the following month ran an unofficial 4:02.0 at a low-key Surrey schools meeting. Bannister had been closely following Landy and Santee and knew the race was on.Sporting immortalityBannister did not regret his decision to go ahead with his mile attempt at Iffley Road (PA/British Pathe PLC)

On May 6, 1954 Bannister, 25, spent the morning working his usual shift at St Mary’s Hospital in London. He then took a train to Oxford to race in the mile event for an amateur team against Oxford University at the Iffley Road cinder running track. He was anxious due to damp and blustery conditions and was close to calling the attempt off, but by the end of the first lap the wind had abated and he felt full of running behind pacemaker Chris Brasher. The first quarter was run in 57.5 seconds and the first half mile in 1:58.00 before second pacemaker Christopher Chataway took the lead. Chataway hit the three-quarter mark in 3:00.07 and Bannister surged by him with 300 metres to go. Head back, eyes closed and mouth open, he threw himself at the finish line and everyone in the small crowd of 1,200 held their breath.Post-race announcementNorris McWhirter played his part on that historic day (Fiona Harrison/PA)

“Ladies and gentlemen, here is the result of Event Number Nine, the One Mile,” said stadium announcer Norris McWhirter, who later founded the Guinness Book of Records and had a sense for the occasion. “First, number 41, R.G. Bannister, Amateur Athletic Association, and formerly of Exeter and Merton Colleges, Oxford, with a time which is a new meeting and track record, and which, subject to ratification, will be a new English native, British national, British All-Comers, European, British Empire and world record. The time was three…” Nobody heard McWhirter finish due to the crowd’s roar. Bannister’s time was 3:59.4.Miracle MileJohn Landy, right, threatened to become the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier on several occasions (PA)

Bannister’s mile record was broken 46 days later in Finland by Landy, who ran a time of 3:57.9. The stage was set for their showdown the following August at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. The two rivals went head-to-head in the ‘Miracle Mile’ and Bannister prevailed in a thrilling race, slowly reeling in the Australian on the last lap and using his superior finishing speed to sling-shot past him on the final bend. Both men finished in under four minutes, but Landy’s world record was still intact.LegacyRoger Bannister was made a Companion of Honour by the Duke of Cambridge in 2017 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Bannister’s four-minute mile triumph captured the imagination and acclaim of a global audience. It also provided a nation, still rebuilding after the war, with a huge lift, serving as a symbol for hope and progress. Bannister completed a stellar year by winning the 1500m at the European Championships in Switzerland and promptly announced his retirement from athletics in order to focus on his work as a junior doctor and pursue a career in neurology. He later became the first chairman of the Sports Council (Sport England) and was knighted in 1975.

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport

UEFA and ECA presidents’ letter says cancelling competitions is ‘last resort’

UEFA and ECA presidents’ letter says cancelling competitions is ‘last resort’Previous Next

By Press Association

Leagues and clubs across Europe have been warned that cancelling competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic at this stage is “premature” and “unjustified”.

The Belgian top flight became the first to conclude its campaign on Thursday, with Club Brugge declared national champions.

A letter from the presidents of European governing body UEFA, the European Club Association and the European Leagues group to national associations, leagues and clubs said cancellation should be a “last resort”, and said plans are being worked on for play to continue into July and August, with the Champions League and Europa League to be completed afterwards.

Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season

“With no unity and no solidarity, nobody will be able to get out of the crisis as we are all interdependent,” the letter warns.

A working group is looking at the fixture calendar, and the letter stated it will advise as soon as possible – and ideally by the middle of May – about which plan for resumption to follow.

“Their work is now focusing on scenarios encompassing the months of July and August, including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues,” the letter continued.

“A joint management of calendars is strictly required as the conclusion of the current season must be co-ordinated with the start of the new one, which may be partly impacted because of the overstretch.


Communicatie Raad van Bestuur Pro League


Communication à la suite du Conseil d’Administration de la Pro League

▶️https://t.co/b4GOEQ0gDd pic.twitter.com/ekSGREF9pX

— Pro League ⚽️🇧🇪 (@ProLeagueBE) April 2, 2020

“Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”

The recipients of the letter were also warned that cutting leagues short unilaterally would cast doubt on clubs’ eligibility to enter European competition next season.

“Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfilment of such condition,” the letter added.

“UEFA reserves the right to assess the entitlement of clubs to be admitted to the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions, in accordance with the relevant applicable competition regulations.”

A second working group has been set up by UEFA to look at the economic and regulatory impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, including the issue of standard player contracts which expire on June 30.

On Wednesday UEFA postponed international matches due to be played in June, including the Euro 2020 play-off ties, clearing the way for domestic league action should circumstances allow football to return by then.

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport

Poosible Ceballos boost for Arsenal: Football rumours from the media

Poosible Ceballos boost for Arsenal: Football rumours from the mediaPreviousNext

By Press Association

What the papers say

Arsenal are a step closer to permanently signing Dani Ceballos, the Daily Mirror reports. The 23-year-old has been put on a list of surplus players at Real Madrid, where he is due to return in the coming months. Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane is open to the Spain midfielder being loaned to the north Londoners again, but the Daily Star reports LaLiga clubs Valencia and Real Betis are also interested in Ceballos.

Raul Jimenez says he has no release clause in his Wolves contract, which will frustrate potential suitors. Manchester United and Real Madrid were said to be interested in the Mexico forward, who lit up the Premier League with 22 goals prior to the pandemic. The 28-year-old told Spanish newspaper Marca he did not have a release clause at the club, who he said had impressed and were “fighting as equals” with every other side in the league.Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is ‘no chance’ of signing with Manchester United, a former player says (Anthony Devlin)

Former Manchester United and Aston Villa player Paul McGrath says midfielder Jack Grealish has “no chance” of moving to Old Trafford. The Villa captain had been linked with a move to United this summer but the Daily Star quotes ex-Ireland international McGrath as doubting the move after the 24-year-old was criticised for not following his own advice to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Gent and Canada forward Jonathan David wants to play in the Premier League, he has told The Guardian. The 20-year-old scored 23 goals this season for his Belgian club and has attracted the eyes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea. David told the paper he wants to become “one of the best strikers” in the world game, adding: “The Premier League is the best in the world and most competitive so obviously that is somewhere I would love to play in the future.”Social media round-up

Jadon Sancho to Man Utd transfer wanted by Marcus Rashford to form sensational trio with Anthony Martial https://t.co/Dz3frTRnSf

— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) April 3, 2020

Liverpool risk missing out on Timo Werner transfer as Bayern Munich to pouncehttps://t.co/sOqfM4FPBJ pic.twitter.com/6PO6LeyxTb

— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) April 3, 2020

Players to watch

Maxime Lopez: Marseille’s 22-year-old French midfielder is being monitored by Aston Villa, according to Birmingham Live.

Callum Wilson: The Bournemouth striker, 28, says he does not deserve to be linked with bigger Premier League sides due to his current run of poor form, Sky Sports reports.

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport