Muir and Sir Mo break records at Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Laura Muir

runbritain National Ladder leaders, Laura Muir (handicap -3.1) and Sir Mo Farah (handicap -7.4) delivered sensational British records to delight the UK crowd on a memorable afternoon at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham.

Muir was class personified as she eclipsed Kelly Holmes’ 13 year old British 1000m record, running the second fastest time in history.

Muir was hot on the heels of pacemaker Jenny Meadows (handicap 0.2) as they passed through the first three laps right on record pace. From then on she was out front on her own, chasing that 2.32.96 mark set by Holmes at this meeting back in 2004.

The effort was clearly visible on the gutsy Scots’ face as she began to tire, but roared on by the Birmingham crowd she brought it home to stop the clock at 2.31.93, also a European record.

Naturally Muir was over the moon with her third British record in 2017:

“I am delighted – I really wanted to get the win; that was really important. 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 breath. To have this level of support is something I am very grateful of and the fact that we will have this in London for the World Championships later this year will be a great advantage for all the British athletes.

“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!”

In the final event of the day, the men’s 5,000m, Sir Mo rounded out his indoor career in perfect style with a 13.09.16 clocking, again breaking the British record.

Taking up the lead with 17 laps to go, Farah led for a large portion of the remaining laps, the volume inside the Barclaycard Arena ever rising. With two laps to go the race was still far from over, with Albert Rop threatening to ruin the party, but Farah kept his cool and delivered the closing speed he’s famous for to take victory.

After his British and European record Farah said:

“I can’t quite believe it is my last race but I have had a great indoor career. It is something that must come to an end. 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. It has been amazing over the years. I didn’t know I had broken the European record but that is good - it means a lot.”

Andrew Pozzi took another hundredth of a second off his world lead as he streaked away from the field to win the 60mH in a blistering 7.43. Pozzi will now head to the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade as overwhelming favourite, but will be joined by David King (James Hillier), who produced the run of his life to finish second in a personal best of 7.63. Both men finished ahead of London 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt who was third in 7.70.

Post-race a delighted Pozzi said:

“It all went to plan. I know there is a really quick time in there and I am hoping to get it out at the Euros in two weeks’ time. I’m in really great shape and to keep running personal bests. I need to go to the Euro’s, get through the rounds and be in the final and challenge for gold. It has been a long time coming and I have worked hard to be here, so I am enjoying it all the more.”

A sensational sub seven second stadium record for Elaine Thompson really got the crowd going earlier in the day, as she scorched away from the rest of the field on a lightning quick freshly laid track inside the Barclaycard Arena.

Thompson, the double Olympic champion, looked good in qualifying, but turned up the heat in the final as she posted the fastest time in the world since 2014.

“It was my first time competing in Birmingham and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed going through the heats, to get the rhythm and a feel for the track and then come back for the final. I wanted to go below my PB and I got that, so I’m really happy.”

Her Jamaican compatriots Gayvon Evans and Christania Williams were second and third in 7.17 and 7.18 respectively, Evans’ performance enough to leapfrog fourth place finisher Barbara Pierre and take the IAAF World Indoor Tour crown.

In a thrilling men’s 60m final American pre-race favourite Ronnie Baker recovered from a poor start to take the win in 6.55, but the rest of the field faced a long wait as the officials scrutinised the photo-finish. In the end the evergreen Kim Collins, on his 50th appearance on British soil, was awarded second in 5.58, whilst Richard Kilty (Michael Khmel) took third in the same time to make up for his false start at the British Athletics Team Trials last weekend.

Birmingham based Robbie Grabarz had to settle for second place behind Olympic silver medallist Erik Kynard, but he was pleased with his 2.28m clearance having only had his appendix removed five weeks ago. After clearing 2.28m at the first time of asking Grabarz was leading, but ultimately couldn’t quite squeeze over the American’s winning height of 2.31m.

The women’s long jump was a battle of the Brits, with Lorraine Ugen and Jazmin Sawyers resuming where they left of at the British Athletics Team Trials in Sheffield last weekend. Again it was Ugen who edged it, her 6.76m season’s best in round three enough to better Sawyers’ 6.71m indoor personal best.

Laviai Nielson showed confidence beyond her years as she got to the break first in the women’s 400m and bravely held on for second place and a huge 51.90 personal best. That run, second only to 2015 World 400mh champion Zuzana Hejnova puts her sixth on the world rankings, and third European. One of the Europeans ahead of her on the world rankings is Eilidh Doyle, who finished fourth in 52.33.

Czech Pavel Maslak will be cashing a different kind of cheque after winning in Birmingham to wrap up the IAAF World Tour title. Level on points with fourth place finisher Bralon Taplin heading into the race, Maslak showed his rivals why he’s the World Indoor champion as he took control of the race to win in 45.89. Luguelin Santos was second in 46.16, whilst Brit Seb Rodger was fifth in 46.86.

In the women’s 3000m Hellen Obiri of Kenya broke their national indoor record to take victory in 8.29.41, after she and Sifan Hassan, who also broke the Dutch national record, had pulled clear of the rest of the field. In fifth place Eilish McColgan (handicap -2.3l) set a brilliant new personal best of 8.43.03, as did Steph Twell (handicap -1.7), tenth in 8.45.95. Eilish is now 2nd on the women's ladder to her club mate Laura and Steph is 7th.

American Cas Loxsom produced the fastest time in the world this year as he front ran an impressive 1.46.13 time. The rest of the field chased hard over the final lap but couldn’t catch him, although Amel Tuka was rewarded with a Bosnian national record in second and Kyle Langford (handicap -5.1) a 1.46.79 personal best in third. Guy Learmonth (handicap -6.1) also bagged an indoor personal best of 1.47.00 in fifth.

In the women’s equivalent there was an indoor personal best of 2.01.71 for Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (handicap -1.4) as she finished third in the women’s 800m, behind winner Joanna Jozwik and Lovisa Lindh.

Ben Blankenship dug deep to hold off Australian Ryan Gregson and win the men’s 1500m, 3.36.42 to 3.36.50, the latter a national record. In sixth there was an indoor personal best of 3.38.52 for Tom Lancashire (handicap -5.5). In the women’s 60mH final, Christina Manning and Sharika Nelvis ensured it was an American one-two, with Sally Pearson continuing her comeback trail in third.

Godfrey Mokoena of South Africa took the spoils in the men’s long jump courtesy of a 7.99m effort in round three, which also secured him the IAAF World Tour title, whilst in second place Tyrone Smith broke the Bermudan national record with a 7.83m jump.

Despite finishing second to Katerina Stefanidi, Nicole Buchler of Switzerland wrapped up the World Tour pole vault title, the two women clearing 4.63m and 4.53m respectively. In the women’s shot put Olympic bronze medallist Anita Marton produced a season’s best of 18.97m to take victory and wrap up the IAAF World Tour Series title.

Full results can be found by clicking here.