Farah breaks World Record at Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix

Mo 2 mile world record

Double Olympic, World and European champion Mo Farah (handicap -6.9) brought the capacity crowds to their feet as he stormed home to set a new world indoor record over two miles at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham today.

Competing in only his first race of the year, Farah stepped up the pace with six laps remaining and was cheered on all the way as he pushed to the line to beat the previous record held by Ethiopia’s former Olympic and world champion Kenenisa Bekele.


Farah’s time of 8:03.40 was almost a second faster than Bekele’s mark set back in 2008, and rounded off a superb day of indoor athletics at the Barclaycard Arena, with no fewer than seven British winners.


“It feels amazing to break the world record. I belong on the track so it’s nice to be back. It’s different training for a world record than training for the championships – I wanted to see what I could do as we’d targeted the world record.


“Training’s gone pretty well – I’ve been out in Ethiopia for seven weeks and I knew I’ve trained well so I was confident. I’ll now fly home tomorrow to see my family and celebrate with them.”


Katarina Johnson-Thompson had already given the crowds plenty to cheer about, setting a new British indoor record in the long jump to add to the national high jump record she set when winning the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships last weekend. Better known as a world class multi-eventer, Johnson-Thompson – who clinched world indoor long jump silver last year - proved she is also a highly talented long jumper in her own right, leaping to 6.93m on her third attempt.


“I am delighted to get the British record in the long jump, after doing it in the high jump last week too; things are going really well at the moment and it gives me confidence going ahead.


“I think I am used to different events being a heptathlete; it’s good to do all the different events before I actually do a heptathlon, so it has worked out well.”


Reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion Greg Rutherford also triumphed in the men’s event, setting four new indoor personal bests on his way to long jump victory. The 28-year-old kick-started the competition with a personal best of 8.03m, and continued to improve through the rounds, soaring out to 8.17m with his final jump to push China’s national champion Xinglong Gao in to second place.


“It’s a great place to be - it’s wonderful to come out and jump so well.”


“Taking this as my first competition of the year though, things are looking good. I’ve been doing a lot faster, more responsive weight training – not necessarily lifting heavier weights.  But I feel in good shape and that’s always good at this point of the year.”


Jenny Meadows (handicap -2.1) continued her terrific run of form with a comfortable win in the 800m. The 33-year-old, who clinched her seventh indoor British Championship title last weekend, clocked 2:01.25, whilst Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (handicap -1.2) was fourth in 2:02.96. Meadows commented afterwards:


“I’m feeling very confident ahead of Prague. I’ve proved to myself that I can run well off different tactics. Today didn’t go to plan but I felt very strong in the last 200m.”


Guy Learmonth (handicap -59), James Bowness (handicap -5.7) and Mukhtar Mohammed (handicap -5.5) also achieved the qualifying standard for the GB & NI team, finishing seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the men’s 800m. The race was won by Kenya’s Jeremiah Mutai in 1:45.93. Learmonth, the first Briton over the line, set a new personal best of 1:47.38 just one week after clinching the British title.


“The first goal today was to get the qualifying time and earn selection for my first GB & NI senior team, so that’s a big tick for me. I’d have loved to have run a lot faster but it is still an indoor PB.”


Tunisia’s world and Olympic silver medallist Habiba Ghribi quickly took control of the women’s 3,000m, and never looked in doubt as she crossed the line with a personal best 8:46.61. Laura Muir (handicap -1.7) was the first of the Britons home, finishing sixth in 8:54.07. Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia set a new all-comers record in the women’s mile, clocking 4:23.50, whilst Kenya’s Vincent Kibet clinched victory in the men’s 1,500m with 3:34.91. Lee Emanuel (handicap -5.4) was the first Briton home, finishing in sixth place with a new personal best of 3:35.66.


Full results can be found here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-indoor-grand-prix/event-schedule/


Sainsbury’s is proud to be a long-term supporter of British Athletics and a champion of inclusive sport for all, from grassroots to elite level.