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Oct 15, 2012 12:55am
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OXFORD, England – Roger Bannister returned to the track where he broke the
4-minute barrier for the mile 58 years ago, walking slowly but smiling broadly
as he carried the Olympic torch across the finish line Tuesday in a powerful
moment just 17 days before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Denarius Moore Jersey . The 83-year-old
Bannister walked 30 metres (yards) along the track, holding the Olympic torch
aloft in his left hand as hundreds cheered for a man who is an embodiment of
sporting achievement in Britain. “In a way Im back in the sport that I belong
to,” he said. “I spent 10 years training before I broke the 4-minute mile.”
Bannister — who shattered an ankle in a car accident in 1975 and has been unable
to run since then — put his walking cane aside and leaned on a young man to
descend three stairs from the podium where the Olympic torch was lit to start
the days relay. Wearing a blue blazer, red sweater and black tie, he walked down
the track before handing the torch to an Oxford doctoral student who then ran a
full lap wearing the white torchbearer uniform. Bannister declined to wear the
uniform, fueling speculation that the Oxford-educated neurologist may put on the
outfit to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony in London on July 27.
Bannister is among those considered a candidate to light the cauldron. He
refused to speculate, saying he was fully focused on Tuesdays torch relay event.
Bannister said he felt “right at home” on the track where he ran the mile in 3
minutes, 59.4 seconds on May 6, 1954. The Iffley Road track is now called the
Roger Bannister track. “Its an honour to be included in a list of torch carriers
which has included injured soldiers back from Afghanistan and other places,”
Bannister said. The strong winds on a chilly, rainy Tuesday reminded him of that
historic day when “the weather was so bad that I nearly decided not to attempt
it.” “In retrospect Im glad because if I hadnt attempted it that day I might not
have had another chance,” Bannister said. Among those on hand Tuesday was
Sebastian Coe, the former two-time Olympic 1,500-meter gold medallist and mile
record-holder who chairs the organizing committee for the London Games. He
called Bannister one of Britains “national treasures of sport.” “Breaking the
four-minute mile as a mark of athletic achievement is central in the history of
our sport,” Coe said. “He paved the way for what we did in the late 70s and
early 80s.” Despite attending eight Olympics — one as an athlete and seven as a
spectator — Bannister never won an Olympic medal. He finished fourth in the
1,500 metres at the 1952 Helsinki Games. Had Bannister won the Olympic gold in
Helsinki, he probably would have retired and the first sub-4-minute mile would
have been achieved by someone else. Instead, he competed for another two years
and attacked the mile landmark. Australias John Landy and American Wes Santee
ran times of 4:02, and it was a question of who would get there first. Bannister
scheduled his attempt for May 6, 1954 during a meet between Oxford University
and the Amateur Athletic Union. The weather was miserable — rainy, cool and
windy. He only decided to make the attempt when he saw the English flag from a
neighbouring church start to flutter more gently as the race time approached. He
was paced by English runners Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway. Brasher ran the
first lap in 58 seconds and the first half-mile in 1:58. Chataway moved to the
front and took them through three laps in 3:01. Bannister had to run the final
lap in 59 seconds and did. The record didnt stand for long. Six weeks later,
Landy ran 3:57.9 in Turku, Finland. Bannister settled the score with Landy in
August 1954 at the Empire Games, now called the Commonwealth Games, in Vancouver
in what was dubbed the “Mile of the Century” or the “Miracle Mile.” Bannister
won in 3:58.8, with Landy second in 3:59. The current record stands at 3:43.13,
held by Moroccos Hicham El Guerrouj since 1999. Bannister had a distinguished
40-year medical career since retiring after the 1954 Empire Games. He was
knighted in 1975. He was among number of sporting celebrities carrying the
Olympic flame on Tuesday. At Henley-on-Thames, five-time Olympic rowing gold
medallist Steve Redgrave carried the torch in his left and an oar in his right
as he helped steer a boat to the Leander rowing club. “To have my hands on the
torch is pretty special,” he said. It may not be the last time. Redgrave is the
British bookmakers favourite to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony. The
flame was also stopping at Royal Ascot race course, where Italian jockey Frankie
Dettori was to climb aboard the retired Monsignor to carry the torch around the
parade ring. Art Shell Jersey . News of the proposal comes
as Premier Wen Jiabao criticized the international call for China to re-evaluate
the yuan at the 12th China-EU Summit yesterday. He said it was unfair for
nations to simultaneously employ protectionist measures on Chinese goods. Trade
experts and Chinese exporters are strongly against the proposal. Oakland Raiders
Jersey
. After Ronaldo twice hit the post, he finally darted in
from behind his marker in the 79th minute with all the instincts of an all out
striker and headed a cross from Joao Moutinho straight at the ground and up past
the flailing hands of Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech. http://www.prostoreraiders.com/mike-goodson-jersey
. Related readings: Graduates pick study over job market Chinese army to recruit
130,000 university graduates PLA to enlist at 13 Beijing private
colleges Official: Military to pre-recruit college grads The PLA plans to
recruit some 150,000 college graduates this year, according to a statement
released after a meeting held Thursday by the PLA General Staff Headquarters and
the ministry. Jacoby Ford Jersey . According to the
Columbus Dispatch, as many as seven teams have had significant discussions with
the club in the last 10 days about acquiring Nash. Sebastian Janikowski Jersey . The Venezuelan,
who recently raced in the GP2 development series, had been named as the driver
for the No. 33 HVM Racing entry for this weekends season opening race in
Miami.NEW YORK —Milos Raonic had trouble at the baseline, but still earned his
first US Open victory. The Thornhill, Ont., native overcame 55 unforced errors
including 15 double faults on Tuesday to defeat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia
6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Raonic, the No. 15 seed, earned his 34th victory of the
season in a match that lasted well over three hours. “Im just happy with the
outcome and that I managed to make the most of that moment and just find a way
to win,” said Raonic. “Everything else Ive got to hope gets better in the next
round.” Raonic had 30 aces, but struggled with unforced errors and converted on
only a third of his dozen break points. “I dont think I struggled with my serve
that much in a long, long time. A lot of double faults, and it wasnt just one
double fault per game,” said Raonic. “I double-faulted consistently a couple
times in a row, and that made my job a lot more difficult and it gave him a
little bit more freedom at the same time. Darren McFadden Jersey. ” Raonic did not play
at the U.S. Open in 2011 as he recovered from hip surgery. In 2010 as a
qualifier, he was beaten by Australian Carsten Ball in his debut at a major. On
Tuesday, Raonic found himself down 2-1, but tied the match with a break in the
final game of the fourth set as Giraldo fired wide. The match finished with a
Raonic break of Giraldo on a forehand error from the Colombian. He will play
Paul-Henri Mathieu of France for the first time in the second round of the
tournament. Torontos Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus are
scheduled to play Americans Steve Johnson and Jack Sock later Tuesday in the
first round of the mens doubles tournament. ’ ’ ’ 

Nov 23, 2012 5:52am
User_img_not_found_02_med linking 41 posts

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