By Tom Degun

Bannister 2March 21 - A new short film telling the story of the "Miracle Mile" race between England's Roger Bannister and Australia's John Landy at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954, one of the greatest races in history, has been released.

The meeting between the pair at the Vancouver 1954 Commonwealth Games - which was then known the British Empire Games - came on August 7 at the Empire Stadium.

Heading into the race, Bannister and Landy were the two titans of middle-distance running and both were at the peak of their careers.

Bannister had become the first man in history to break the four-minute mile time barrier that many at that time thought was impenetrable just four months earlier on May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England.

But Bannister's record stood for less than two months as it was broken by over a second by Landy on June 21, 1954 at an international meet at Turku, Finland.

Some argue that Landy's feat was in fact more genuine as he accomplished the time in a actual race without the aid of dedicated pacers, while Vancouver 1954 marked the first time ever that the two sub-four minute mile runners appeared in the same race.

The epic contest saw Landy led for most of the race, building a big lead of 10 yards in the third of the four lap race.

But he was dramatically overtaken on the very last bend by Bannister as the Australian looked over his left shoulder to gauge his English rival's position and Bannister burst past him on the right, never relinquishing the lead.
Miracle Mile raceThe “Miracle Mile” race between Roger Bannister and John Landy at the Vancouver 1954 Commonwealth Games is widely considered one of the greatest races ever

Bannister took gold in 3min 58sec with Landy taking silver less than a second behind his rival, marking the first time ever two athletes had broken the four-minute mile time barrier in the same race.

The epic moment saw a larger-than-life bronze sculpture of the two men in the race created by Vancouver sculptor Jack Harman in 1967, and it remains in the city today.

Regarding the sculpture, Landy famously quipped that "While Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back, I am probably the only one ever turned into bronze for looking back!"
Miracle Mile statueA bronze statue of Roger Bannister and John Landy competing in the “Miracle Mile” race stands in Vancouver

The Commonwealth Games Federation's (GCF) "The Miracle Mile" film sees young English heptathlete Jazmin Sawyers, who won gold in long jump and 4x100 metres relay at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, present the story of this great race where she interviews Bannister at his home in Oxford and Landy at his home in Melbourne.

The film is the first is a series of special films to be released by the CGF on some of the landmark moments in the history of the Commonwealth Games as part of the build-up to the next edition of the event which will be Glasgow 2014.

To view the film click here

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