9th February 2021
MUIR LOWERS BRITISH INDOOR 1500M RECORD IN LIEVIN
Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young; club: Dundee Hawkhill) opened her 2021 season with a British indoor record in the women’s 1500m, while there was a British 800m double for Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) and Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg; Birchfield), and Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn) earned top spot in the women’s pole vault at the second stop in the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series in Lievin.
In an extraordinary women’s 1500m, Laura Muir (Andy Young; Dundee Hawkhill) lowered the British indoor record to 3:59.58 in a race which saw Guduf Tsegay break the indoor world record, lowering Genzebe Dibaba’s previous best by over two seconds. The Ethiopian’s time of 3:53.09 was the reward for going with fast pace at the beginning of the race, while the rest of the field ran a more conservative pace. Among those were Muir and Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Rob Denmark; Poole) who ultimately bagged second and third position.
For Muir, it was a lonely race as she chased Tsegay over the final few laps, but ultimately, she could not close the 25-metre gap which had opened up with three laps remaining. However, Muir produced the best indoor performance of her career as she regained the national indoor record which was broken by Jemma Reekie in 2020.
For Courtney-Bryant, she was again in impressive form, recording a time of 4:04.79 for third spot in the contest.
Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) delivered a sublime performance as she claimed victory the women’s 800 metres. The performance was a continuation of the fine form which took her to British records during the truncated 2020 season.
After a controlled opening two laps which saw the pacemaker go through in 58.15, Reekie made her move on lap three, moving with intent and positioning herself on the shoulder of Habitum Alemu at the bell. On cue, she glided passed the Ethiopian athlete around the top bend and held on to her position for the remainder of the contest to keep the chasing pack at bay and win in 2:00.64, the second fastest indoor 800m of her career.
In the same race, Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter; Leigh), fresh from setting an indoor world U20 record in Vienna last week, showed her capabilities at this level once again as she held on to the rapid pace set by the leading pack over the four laps. She showed her grit and determination on the final lap as she battled to fourth in a time of 2:01.71.
Following victory at the first World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Karlsruhe, Elliot Giles was back to winning ways in the men’s 800m A race in France.
The pace was hot over the first 400m, with the pacemaker going through in 50.14 with Pierre Ambrose-Bosse and Elliot Giles in close pursuit. The Briton was composed over the penultimate lap, biding his time behind the ever-tiring Frenchman. As the pacemaker stood aside down the home straight, Giles kicked on as the bell tolled, pushing on over the final 200m to post a time of 1:45.49 which was a season best.
A very fast first lap had a huge impact on the men’s 800m B race as tiring legs saw the pace drop over the final laps. Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg; Shaftesbury Barnet) led the way around the third lap, and held his position until around 80 metres to go, but the pace caught up with him and the rest of the field wound him in. Ultimately, a fast-finishing Guy Learmonth (Justin Rinaldi; Lasswade) was the first Briton home in 1:47.94 for fifth, while Langford was seventh in a time of 1:48.38.
After her impressive height clearance of 4.85 metres in Rouen on Sunday, Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn) continued her solid form as she won the women’s pole vault ahead of Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi (GRE).
A comfortable first jump over 4.50m and a second attempt success at 4.63m set up the Briton for a first-time clearance at 4.73m which saw her claim overall victory. She is now two-from-two at the beginning of her 2021 season.