Nevada Appeal at 150: May 6, 1954: 4-minute mile broken at last at Oxford today
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.
May 6, 1954
Oxford, Engl., May 6 — (IP) — Great Britain’s Roger Bannister finally smashed the long-sought four minute mile today when he was clocked in the world record time of 3:59:4.
The mark, long the Holy Grail of trackmen, was two full seconds under the world record of 4:01:4 set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden in 1945.
Bannister raced to the most memorable track and field mark of all time while running in a match for Britain’s Amateur Athletic Association against Oxford university.
The mark will, of course, have to be verified by both Great Britain’s AAU and the International Amateur Athletic Federation before it goes into the records.
Bannister previously had run a 4:02 mile, but it was not official because he had a pacesetter.
Bannister was clocked at the quarter in 57.7, at the half in 1:58.3 and the three-quarters in 3:00.7. That gave him times of 57.7 for the first quarter, 60.6 for the second quarter, 62.4 for the third and a bell lap of 58.7.