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Timeline - Breaking the 4-minute mile

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Interact with the timeline to see key dates relating to getting the sporting edge – Breaking the 4-minute mile. Pause the mouse pointer over any of the boxes to see additional information about each event. Find out more about the Sporting Edge by browsing or searching the hub.

31 May 1913

4min 14sec

American John Paul Jones holds the first officially recorded male amateur world record for the mile (1,609.344 metres).

15 July 1933

4min 07.6sec

New Zealander Jack Lovelock holds the record for a while in the 1930s.

July 1942

4min 01.3sec

Swedish Gunder Hagg holds the official world record by the end of the 1940s.

6 May 1954

3min 59.4sec

Englishman Roger Bannister runs the first amateur sub-four minute mile.

27 January 1962

3min 54.4sec

New Zealander Peter Snell holds the record for a while during the 1960s.

12 August 1975

3min 49.4sec

New Zealander John Walker breaks the world mile record in the 1970s. His was the first mile run under 3 min 50 sec.

27 July 1985

3min 46.32sec

Englishman Steve Cram holds the world record by the end of the 1980s.

14 August 1996

4min 12.56sec

Russian Svetlana Masterkova breaks the female world record for the mile. No woman has yet run a sub-four minute mile.

7 July 1999

3min 43.13sec

Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj breaks the world record in Rome in the 1990s. He still holds the record.

The future

You decide

The 4 minute barrier has been lowered by only 17 seconds over the last 50 years. What will it take to keep breaking the record?

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