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Bannister carries Olympic torch at site of famous mile

Last updated on: July 10, 2012 21:16 IST

'I'm glad that it's taking place on this track in Oxford'

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Roger Bannister returned to the Iffley Road Stadium where he ran the first sub four-minute mile in 1954 on Tuesday to begin the 53rd leg of the London Olympic torch relay.

The 83-year-old Bannister, who became part of British sporting folklore when he ran three minutes 59.4 seconds at the track near Oxford, carried the torch around the track at the start of a leg that included a stop at Windsor Castle to see Queen Elizabeth.

"It's an honour to be included in a list of torch carriers which has included injured soldiers back from Afghanistan and other places, and I'm glad that it's taking place on this track in Oxford where I ran the four-minute mile in 1954," Bannister said after handing over the flame.


Image: Roger Bannister (left) passes the Olympic flame to Torchbearer Nicola Byrom on the track at Iffley Road Stadium
Photographs: LOCOG via Getty Images

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Bannister attended the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki

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Bannister, who attended the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki where he just missed a medal, is one of several names being suggested to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on July 27.

British rowing great Steve Redgrave, another on the shortlist, also took part in the relay on Tuesday, holding the torch while rowing down the River Thames near Henley.

Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics from 1984 to 2000.


Photographs: LOCOG via Getty Images

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