Double Olympic champion Mo Farah ran 7:32.62 to break the 34-year-old UK 3000m record at a Birmingham Diamond League event that saw numerous stadium records fall and world leads set
Ahead of the Birmingham Diamond League meeting, Mo Farah had explained how he hoped to “give something back to the fans” and on Sunday (June 5) he duly delivered with a British record-breaking performance which came at the end of a programme featuring a number of stadium records and world leads.
Clocking 7:32.62 at the Alexander Stadium in warm and sunny conditions, the double Olympic, world and European champion took 0.17 off the 7:32.79 run by David Moorcroft in 1982 – the year before Farah was born.
The win makes it two out of two for Farah so far this summer, with this 3000m victory following his 10,000m win in Eugene last weekend. It also adds to the list of British track records he already holds over 1500m, two miles, 5000m and 10,000m.
“I didn’t know I had got the British record when I crossed the line, I thought I had just missed it,” said Farah, who followed the pacemakers through 1000m in 2:30.88 and 2000m in 5:01.75 before a solo run to victory.
“I was a bit tired on the last lap but I knew I had to dig in. I was always targeting the record and knew it was on at 2km.”
Behind him, Kenya’s Mathew Kiptanui ran a 7:44.16 PB ahead of compatriot Hillary Kipkorir Maiyo with 7:44.99. In fourth, Andrew Butchart continued his Scottish record-breaking ways with 7:45.00 to better John Robson’s 7.45.81 from 1984, which follows his 13:13.30 5000m from Hengelo last month.
UK all-comers’ records for Kipruto and Kiprop
Conseslus Kipruto had already won the 3000m steeplechase events in Doha, Rabat and Rome – going quicker with world-leading times at each – and in Birmingham he went faster still, running a UK all-comers’ record of 8:00.12 to go agonisingly close to becoming the 12th athlete in history to go sub-eight minutes.
Through 1000m in 2:35.27 he was on world record pace, with 2000m passed in 5:18.73, and the two-time Olympic silver medallist eventually crossed the finish line more than 10 seconds clear ahead of Paul Kipsiele Koech as Kenyan athletes filled the top six spots.
Rob Mullett, who recently ran the fastest time by a Brit for 22 years with 8:22.42, clocked 8:31.13 for 10th, one place ahead of Luke Gunn, who was among the Bud Baldaro-coached athletes at the Alexander Stadium to see the highly respected and successful distance coach receive his unsung hero award from British Athletics.
Another athlete to have promised a quick time was Kenya’s world champion Asbel Kiprop in the 1500m and after following pacemaker Andrew Rotich through 400m in 54.38 and 800m in 1:51.72, he went on to cross the line in 3:29.33 for a world-leading UK all-comers’ record.
He was followed by Morocco’s world bronze medallist Abdalaati Iguider in 3:33.10. Britain’s Jake Wightman ran 3:37.77 as the leading Brit for a time inside the European Championships qualifying mark.
Barshim bounces back
Mutaz Essa Barshim returned after his seventh-place high jump finish in Doha and his sixth in Rome to clear a world-leading 2.37m before attempting a would-have-been PB and Asian record of 2.44m. The record wasn’t to be this time but the 2014 world indoor champ was pleased with his performance.
USA’s Erik Kynard was second with 2.35m ahead of Zhang Guowei’s 2.32m. Britain’s Olympic bronze and world indoor silver medallist Robbie Grabarz went over 2.29m for fourth, while British indoor champion Chris Baker was joint fifth with 2.26m.
The women’s pole vault saw another world-leading performance and also a Diamond League record as world champion Yarisley Silva cleared 4.84m to claim victory before twice attempting a PB of 4.92m and then calling it a day.
Britain’s Holly Bradshaw, competing for the first time since last September, cleared 4.35m for eighth.
Colombia’s two-time world champion Caterine Ibarguen had gone almost four years unbeaten in the triple jump, racking up a 34-competition win streak. But in one of the shocks of the meeting, that winning run came to an end as Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova, who had been the last to beat Ibarguen when claiming the Olympic title in 2012, leapt 14.61m in the final round for a mark to which Ibarguen couldn’t respond.
Just five centimetres were in it, with Olympic silver medallist Ibarguen second on 14.56m and Ukraine’s Olha Saladuha third with 14.40m.
Another surprise came in the women’s shot put as New Zealand’s two-time Olympic and four-time world gold medallist Valerie Adams – winner in Rabat and Rome – finished as runner-up to USA’s Doha winner Tia Brooks, 19.73m PB to 19.63m.
The Olympic champion in the long jump was beaten too. After picking up a “mild neck injury” in Rome, Greg Rutherford – who had won in each of his competitions since last July – finished in fifth with a best of 8.17m after his placing following the first three leaps put him outside the top four which denied him a further three attempts under the controversial new Diamond League rules.
USA’s Marquise Goodwin was just three centimetres off his world-leading mark with 8.42m in the second round and he held on to the lead despite passing two of his final three jumps to win ahead of fellow American Michael Hartfield. Not only did Goodwin beat Rutherford, but he also bettered the Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion’s stadium record in a competition which saw the top six all better the eight-metre mark.
Rudisha and Bosse battle in superb 600m
Back on the track, Olympic 800m record-holder David Rudisha dropped down to take on 600m and with 1:13.10 he ran the second-quickest time in history, pushed by France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse whose 1:13.21 in second is a European record. That winning time came after a 23.31 first 200m by Rudisha and 47.17 for 400m. Britain’s Michael Rimmer clocked 1:15.87 in fifth.
The women’s 100m was the final Diamond League event on the programme and was won by USA’s English Gardner in 11.02, a time which matched her heat-winning performance but into a -1.2 m/s wind. World 200m champion Dafne Schippers recovered from a poor start to finish as runner-up in 11.09 ahead of Tianna Bartoletta’s 11.11. British record-holder Dina Asher-Smith ran 11.22 in fourth, one place ahead of Ashleigh Nelson, who ran 11.24.
Having recently achieved his aim of going sub-10 seconds as a 40-year-old with a 9.93 PB in Germany, Kim Collins again made the most of his experience to claim victory in a photo finish ahead of USA’s Michael Rodgers, with both athletes clocking 10.11. Britain’s CJ Ujah was third in 10.12 after the race lost two athletes to false starts. The men’s 200m was won by Canada’s world 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse in 20.16 from Panama’s Alonso Edward with 20.17.
Further meeting records fall
The men’s 400m, women’s 800m and women’s 100m hurdles all saw the meeting records broken. Grenada’s Olympic champion Kirani James clocked 44.23 over one lap to beat his fellow sub-44 second man Isaac Makwala of Botswana as Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith achieved an Olympic qualifying time with 45.13 in fourth, while Burundi’s world indoor champion Francine Niyonsaba front-ran her way to better both the 800m meeting record and Kelly Holmes’ 20-year-old stadium record with 1:56.92. The top five all went sub-two minutes in that race, including Britain’s Lynsey Sharp with 1:59.29 for fourth.
Fresh from her 12.24 to go second on the world sprint hurdles all-time list in Eugene, USA’s Kendra Harrison continued her top form to clock 12.46 for another win, beating the former American record-holder Brianna Rollins with 12.57. British record-holder Tiffany Porter was fifth in 12.86, two places ahead of Olympic champion Sally Pearson who ran 13.25 on her return after the serious wrist injury she sustained in Rome last year.
Like in the men’s 100m, the women’s 400m hurdles also came down to a photo finish, with USA’s Cassandra Tate pipping Britain’s Doha winner Eilidh Doyle by just one thousandth of a second with 54.57 on the clock.
The longest event on the track was the women’s 5000m and that was also a close finish as Kenya’s world 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot clocked 15:12.79 to deny Mercy Cherono with 15:12.85. Rio-bound British 10,000m champion Jess Andrews was again the best of the Brits as she ran a 15:46.82 PB in ninth, one place ahead of Jo Pavey, who hopes to make her fifth Olympic Games this year, with 15:47.64.
France’s Floria Guei won the 400m in a 50.84 PB ahead of Jamaica’s Christine Day with 51.09 as Seren Bundy-Davies clocked a 51.33 PB in fourth, one place ahead of Anyika Onuora with 51.55. Christine Ohuruogu was seventh in 52.40.
Poland’s world champion Piotr Malachowski threw 67.50m in the discus to beat Germany’s Olympic gold medallist Robert Harting with 65.97m, while Latvia’s Madara Palameika won the javelin with 65.68m from Australia’s Kathryn Mitchell with 63.93m as British record-holder Goldie Sayers was ninth with a best of 57.08m after her three throws.
The women’s 1500m was billed as a ‘development’ race and that certainly proved the case as five athletes ran PBs. Four of those were by British runners led by British road mile champion Sarah McDonald’s 4:07.18 from Melissa Courtney’s 4:07.55, their times being European Championships qualifying marks. European junior champion Bobby Clay clocked a 4:10.61 PB behind Claudia Bobocea of Romania’s 4:08.64 PB.
The Club:Connect mixed 4x100m relays had got the day’s action underway, with Birchfield Harriers dominating both the under-13 and under-15 events ahead of Solihull & Small Heath and Coventry Godiva Harriers respectively. Halesowen claimed victory in the under-17 race despite the efforts of the fast-finishing Birchfield anchor, 45.50 to 45.58. There was a third win for Birchfield in the last of the Club:Connect relays as the under-20 team clocked 45.53 ahead of Stratford with 46.36.
» See the June 9 edition of AW magazine for further coverage, pictures and results from Birmingham