Chris Thompson sets 10,000m PB at Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, California
European silver medallist Chris Thompson missed out on the British 10,000m record at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, California, but showed he is operating at a higher level than last year by setting a PB and running the third-fastest time ever by a Briton.
The US-based Brit finished fourth with a time of 27:27.36 to leap-frog friend and long-time rival Mo Farah on the UK all-time list, setting the fastest time by a Briton since Jon Brown set the British record of 27:18.14 in 1998 and comfortably dipping inside the ‘A’ standard for the World Championships (27:40) and next year’s Olympics (27:45).
Thompson faced a tough task from the outset, as the pace makers set out slower than the predetermined 27:20 pace, instead going through four laps in 4:23 and 2000m in 5:30, which is 27:30 pace. US record-holder Chris Solinsky, on pace-making duties, then took up the lead and went through 3000m in 8:15 before dropping out at half way, having led the field through in 13:43.
At this point the lead pack comprised Thompson, Kenya’s Bedan Karoki, European 3000m steeplechase record-holder Bouabdellah Tahri, Australia’s Ben St Lawrence and US duo Matt Tegenkamp and Bobby Curtis.
But with eight laps to go, 20-year-old Karoki took off and opened up daylight on the rest of the field. He had opened up a gap of eight seconds by the time he reached 8000m (21:53) and was operating at 27:20 pace. Behind him, Tegenkamp, St Lawrence and Curtis were having their own battle for second place with Thompson having dropped further behind, although the real racing had not yet begun.
At the bell, Karoki was away and gone and the Japan-based Kenyan kicked on to win in a world-leading 27:13.67. Tegenkamp – competing in his first serious 10,000m since a one-off 29:59 run in 2002 – began to fade slightly as Curtis and St Lawrence breezed past with Thompson not far behind.
Curtis held on for second, shaving nine seconds off his PB with a time of 27:24.67. St Lawrence shatted his lifetime best by more than 40 seconds to set an Australian record of 27:24.95 in third, while Thompson came through in fourth in 27:27.36. Tim Nelson overtook Tegenkamp in the closing stages, clocking 27:28.19 to 27:28.22.
13 men went inside the World Championships ‘A’ standard with a further six going under the ‘B’ standard of 28 minutes. The men’s B race was won by Amos Sang in 28:20.35 as Keith Gerrard finished top Briton in eighth with a time of 28:27.03, improving his PB by 15 seconds. Rory Fraser set a PB of 28:41.01 in 16th, with John Beattie finishing 19th in 28:42.63.
The women’s 10,000m was a high-quality race as three women went under 31 minutes. US-based Kenyan Sally Kipyego won in a world-leading 30:38.35 to become the fifth-fastest Kenyan woman of all-time over the distance. Olympic bronze medallist Shalane Flanagan was not far behind in second with 30:39.57, while Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi finished third in 30:54.29. The top Briton was Sonia Samuels, who finsished 13th in a PB of 32:57.23.
Outside of the 10,000m races, the best British performance came from Tom Farrell in the 5000m, who finished third in 13:26.59, inside the ‘B’ standard for the World Championships. It was the first time Farrell has contested the 5000m outdoors and is the fastest time ever by a Briton in their first year as a senior.