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Farah Signs Off Indoor Athletics Career with European 5,000m Record

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Sir Mo Farah. Photo: Reuters

Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Mo Farah set a European record on his way to claiming 5,000 meter victory at the season-ending International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Tour meeting at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, England.

The 33-year-old won what is set to be the final indoor race of his career before retiring from the track later this year with a time of 13min 09.16sec.

Sir Mo took the lead with two laps to go and despite being pushed hard by Bahrain’s Albert Rop, he kicked on again with 200m remaining and held on until the finish.

Rop set an Asian indoor record of 13:09.43 in second, while France’s Morhad Amdouni posted a national record of 13:10.60 in third.

Sir Mo, who plans to focus on road racing after the IAAF World Championships in London in August, 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.”

There was also British success today in the women’s 1,000m as Laura Muir triumphed with a European indoor record of 2:31.93.

The Scot’s time was 0.23 seconds quicker than that set by Russia’s Yuliya Chizhenko-Fomenko in 2006 and 0.80 faster than Kelly Holmes’ British indoor best.

It was also just less than a second shy of Mozambique’s Maria Mutola’s world indoor record of 2:30.94, set in 1999.

“I am delighted,” Muir, who has already broken the European 3,000m and British 5,000m indoor records this year, said.

“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.

“It is every athlete’s dream to be running well every time you come out on the track and being injury free.

“Hopefully I can carry this sort of form into the summer.”

Among the other events held today was the women’s 60m as Jamaica’s 100m and 200m Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson eased to victory in 6.98sec, the eighth-quickest time ever.

It took 0.01 seconds off the stadium record set four years ago by Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahouré and moves her to second on the Jamaican all-time list behind Merlene Ottey and tied with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Thompson led a Jamaican one-two-three as compatriots Gayon Evans and Christania Williams finished second and third in 7.17 and 7.18 respectively.

World indoor champion Barbara Pierre was fourth in 7.20 and surrendered her lead in the World Indoor Tour standings to Evans.

In the men’s 60m hurdles, Andrew Pozzi ran a new personal best and world leading time of 7.43 to beat fellow Briton David King, second in 7.63, and London 2012 gold medalist Aries Merritt of the United States, third in 7.70.

Merritt’s compatriot Casimir Loxsom crossed the line in the men’s 800m in a personal best of 1:46.13, one of two world-leading performances set by American middle-distance runners in Birmingham.

The men’s 1500m saw Ben Blankenship win in a world-leading 3:36.42 as Ryan Gregson set an Australian record of 3:36.50 in second.

Kenya’s Bethwell Birgen was third, but it was enough to hold on to the World Indoor Tour win.

Following her defeat in German city Karlsruhe earlier this month, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri returned to winning ways in the women’s 3,000m.

The 27-year-old clocked a time of 8:29.41 to break the national record she set in Karlsruhe and secure the World Indoor Tour win.

Sifan Hassan could take some consolation from a Dutch record of 8:30.76, while Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum was third in 8:37.65 in a race where 12 of the 14 women set personal bests.

Two-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslák was tied with Grenada’s Bralon Taplin in the men’s 400m standings before Birmingham, but the Czech sprinter ultimately won comfortably in 45.89.

Taplin had problems in working his way through the field and finished fourth in 46.38.

Another pre-Birmingham tie was settled in the men’s long jump with South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena out-jumping Mauritius’ Fabrice Lapierre.

Mokoena landed at 7.99 meters to secure the World Indoor Tour win, while Lapierre finished third with 7.76m, seven centimeters behind Bermuda’s Tyrone Smith.

The equivalent women’s event, a non-scoring discipline in this year’s World Indoor Tour, was won by Great Britain’s world indoor bronze medalist Lorraine Ugen with a season’s best of 6.76m.

Switzerland’s Nichole Buchler secured a series win in the women’s pole vault, despite a minor thigh strain forcing her to withdraw in the latter stages of the competition.

Her 4.53m clearance was eventually good enough for second place and was beaten only by Greece’s Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi, who posted 4.63m.

By Daniel Etchells

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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