A pair of spikes worn by the legendary Roger Bannister when he ran the first sub-four minute mile in 1954 were sold at an auction on Thursday for a whopping 220,000 Pounds (rises to 266,500 Pounds with buyer's premium). The reserve price for the black kangaroo leather shoes was 30,000-50,000 Pounds. (1 British Pound = 102 INR)
Kate Summers, from Christie's, told BBC.
"When bidding opened there was great anticipation. After two-and-a-half minutes of bidding, they were sold to an anonymous buyer on the telephone."
Now 86, Bannister said he planned to give some of the proceeds to the Autonomic Charitable Trust, as it "encourages the area of neurological research to which I have devoted most of my life...Other worthwhile causes in which I have an interest will also benefit," he added. Bannister studied medicine at the University of Oxford.
Bannister achieved his record-breaking feat at Oxford's Iffley Road track on May 6, 1954 when he was 25. He ran the mile in three minutes 59 seconds. In May, the stopwatch used to time the race sold for 20,000 Pounds at an auction.
"These shoes are the last tangible link I have with the four-minute mile," Bannister had said before the sale. "All my trophies are now on display at Pembroke College, Oxford, where I was Master. They served me great purpose, I'm grateful to them. I think it's the right time to part with them," he said.
(With agency inputs)