Former Olympian, politician Chataway dies aged 82

Updated: January 19, 2014, 5:42 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Christopher Chataway, a former 5,000-meter world record-holder who helped Roger Bannister break the four-minute mile, has died. He was 82.

Chataway, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1995, died Sunday at a hospice in London after more than two years fighting cancer, his son Mark said.

The middle-distance runner competed at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, and acted as a pacemaker to help Bannister become the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier in 1954.

"We laughed, ran and commiserated together," Bannister told the BBC. "People will always remember him for the great runner he was, but it shouldn't be forgotten that he had an extremely distinguished career off the track."

Chataway gained recognition for himself in 1954 as well, winning the three-mile race at the Commonwealth Games.

And, two weeks after taking silver in the 5,000 behind Vladimir Kuts at the European Championships in Berne, Chataway beat the Russian on the way to breaking the world record for the distance.

Chataway retired from international athletics after the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, where he finished 11th in the 5,000.

Chataway had begun a career on television as a newscaster with Independent Television News in 1955, and then had spells in the House of Commons as a member of the Conservative Party.

He was knighted for his services to the aviation industry in 1995, having been chairman of the Civil Aviation authority.


Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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