20 Feb

Mo And Muir Müller Records In Birmingham

Laura Muir lights up BirminghamSir Mo Farah and Laura Muir smashed the British and European records in their respective events at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday (18 February). Mo closed the show with a tactical masterpiece in the 5000m and Laura was peerless as she eclipsed Kelly Holmes' British 1000m record to go second all-time behind Maria Mutola.

Despite the presence of five Rio Olympic champions, the performance of the meeting was Laura Muir's sublime victory by five seconds in the five-lap race on the recently renewed 200m indoor track in the Barclaycard Arena. Muir narrowly missed Lynsey Sharp's Scottish 800m record (2:00.30) en route to the second fastest in history (2:31.93) for 1000m.
Muir (Dundee Hawkhill) was paced by recently retired international Jenny Meadows for three laps at world record pace before going alone in a battle against time. Despite the pain of the effort the Birmingham crowd helped the gutsy Scot to her third British record in 2017, who had this reaction: “To beat Kelly’s record is amazing and to be so close to the world record is also very encouraging for me. The crowd were so loud; I couldn’t hear myself breathe. I have worn my lucky spikes for all four of my national records so I am going to keep them safe for the future. They will be worth a bit now!”
Mo Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles) might have been a shoe-in for victory in the 5000m, especially after the late withdrawal of British rival Andrew Butchart (Central) but his day did not start well as his spikes were soaked by a leaky water bottle before warm up. After the race one of the offending shoes was flung high into the crowd as Mo celebrated his final indoor race, perhaps hinting at a move to cricket in retirement?
The race itself was in danger of becoming a damp squib as the pace dropped after a promising start but Kenya-born Albert Rop (Bahrain) made a brave effort before that was extinguished by a brilliant final two laps from the four-time Olympic champion, who then said: “I can’t quite believe it is my last race but I have had a great indoor career. It is weird thinking about it and saying goodbye because I have had great support from everyone and in particular this track where I have broken so many records. I didn’t know I had broken the European record but that is good - it means a lot.”
Elsewhere, there were superb PBs for Eilish McColgan (8:43.03) and Steph Twell (8:45.95) in a fast women's 3000m behind Helen Obiri, who ran 8:29.41 for a Kenyan indoor record.
Full details are on the British Athletics website.
Image courtesy British Athletics press.