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Sir Roger Bannister, in full Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister (born March 23, 1929, Harrow, Middlesex, England), English neurologist who was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes.While a student at the University of Oxford and at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, Bannister won British (1951, 1953-54) and Empire (1954) championships in the mile run and the European title (1954) in the 1,500-metre event. He broke the four-minute barrier with a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds in a dual meet at Oxford on May 6, 1954. Breaking the world record (4 minutes 1.3 seconds), held for nine years by Gunder Hagg of Sweden, was almost incidental to his successful defiance of the "psychological" barrier, the general belief in the impossibility of running a mile in less than four minutes. Bannister is said to have achieved his speed through scientific training methods and thorough research into the mechanics of running. He recounted his experiences in the book The Four Minute Mile (1955).