ONE of sport's most famous figures picked up an honorary degree and met a fellow record-breaker in the process.
Sir Roger Bannister collected an honorary doctorate from Brunel University on Friday (18).
The first man to run the mile in less than four minutes, Mr Bannister CBE, was present at the students graduation ceremony at Brunel's Indoor Athletics Centre at the campus in Uxbridge.
Mr Bannister, 79, who is originally from Harrow, spoke at length with Montell Douglas, 22, who also graduated with a degree in Sports Science on the same day.
Miss Douglas was doubly celebrating,having set the new UK women's 100 metres record at the Loughborough European Athletics Permit meeting, the previous afternoon, earning her place in the individual event at Beijing.
The remarkable pair met after the ceremony where Bannister told Douglas that he will be following her career.
He said to her: "I will be watching your performance in Beijing with great interest."
Montell seemed overwhelmed with the events of the most successful week of her career to date which culmintaed in her meeting Douglas.
She said: "It's like, wow, so amazing."
Montell broke Kathy Cook's 27 year old 100m record, shaving 0.05 seconds of the previous record of 11.10 secs, running a time of 11.05 secs.
The sprinter, originally from Bromley, south-east London, will also run the in the women's 4x100 relay team in Beijing.
Speaking about her performance, Montell said, "It's given me a massive amount of confidence. It was now or never - I had to prove myself. It feels surreal and I can't even comprehend it."
Brunel Pro Vice Chancellor Ian Campbell, co-leader of Brunel's Olympic programme commented: "We are delighted that Montell has achieved this fabulous result and for it to come in the week of her graduation is very special indeed; a testament to the dedication that she has shown in both her studies in Sport Sciences and in her training at Brunel.
His co-leader Neil Young, added: "Today the University was already planning to honour one record breaker, Sir Roger Bannister, with an Honorary degree so it is fantastic that instead we are honouring two. The whole University is immensely proud and wishes her and her team mates every success in Beijing."