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Published On: Wed, Jul 11th, 2012

Roger Bannister, first 4 minute mile runner, featuring in Olympic torch passing

Former record breaking athlete Sir Roger Bannister passed the Flame to Torchbearer to Nicola Byrom on Monday at the track at Iffley Road Stadium.

The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay leg featured the famous runner who was part of the leg from Oxford to Reading. The Olympic Flame is now on the 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles.

Bannister is best known for running the first mile in less than 4 minutes. Bannister became a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993.

Bannister’s time was 3 min 59.4 sec.

He was the first torch bearer of a distinguished day. Sir Steve Redgrave and Denise Lewis both carried the torch and it passed the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, but none will have been more warmly appreciated than Bannister.

“Of course it is an honour to be carrying the torch, but it is an honour for every runner to take part,” he told The Telegraph. “I am only sorry that many of the worthy individuals that have served their country, their county or their town cannot all be involved. It has been very moving to watch the enthusiasm with which the torch relay has been greeted on its journey.”

“It is fitting to be here, on a track that is named after me. Actually, I was responsible for building it when I was president of the University Athletic Club back in 1949. Then, of course, I was only 20 so I am not so sure that I made a proper job of it.

Sir Roger Bannister at the prize presentation of the 2009 Teddy Hall relay race. Photo/© Pruneau / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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