British 10,000m champion Ross Millington clocked 27:55.06 in Leiden to book his place for the Rio Olympic Games
Ross Millington has secured his spot on the GB team for the Rio Olympic Games after running a 10,000m PB of 27:55.06 in Leiden on Saturday (June 11).
The Stockport athlete had won the British trials at the Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs last month but his winning time of 28:28.20 was outside British Athletics’ 28:00.00 qualification standard.
In only his third ever race over 10,000m, Millington improved by more than 30 seconds in Holland to finish sixth in a race won by Eritrea’s Aron Kifle in 27:27.04.
“The race itself was pretty much perfect for me,” Millington explained. “There was a Dutch guy pacing up to 5km and he was bang on at 13:59. After that I was able to pick off some of the Africans that had fallen off the lead group.
“I saw with 1200m to go that it was doable but I had to dig deep and ask myself how much I wanted it. I got the answer with a big last 800m to see me under the 28:00 minute standard! It’s obviously a huge moment for me, something I have always dreamed about and worked towards.
“I knew it would take a step-up in level, but I felt ready to do it,” he added. “After the trials I don’t think many people expected me to go for the Olympic standard as I was so far off at Highgate, but I was there to win a championship race, not chase a time.
“It was always my intention to go for the time at a later date after my first race at Stanford didn’t go as well as I hoped.”
He will now join the likes of Jess Andrews and Beth Potter in Rio, with Andrews having booked her Rio place after an impressive winning performance at the Highgate event, clocking 31:58.00 to beat 2009 world champion Linet Masai of Kenya, while Potter was the second Briton over the finishing line and already had the Rio standard.
Millington works with GB international-turned-coach Steve Vernon, who leads a New Balance squad of athletes also including Tom Lancashire, Jonny Mellor and Charlie Hulson.
Millington has spent time training in Kenya with British Athletics and was also with the New Balance team in Arizona earlier this year.
After Millington’s PB performance in Leiden, Vernon wrote on Twitter: “So proud of @ross_millington last night with a massive 27:55.06 10,000m pb and Olympic Standard for Rio!”