Tefera breaks world indoor 1500m record in Birmingham

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Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera tore up the script for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, upstaging compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the long-standing world indoor 1500m record while Alemaz Samuel won Women’s 3000m.
Yomif Kejelcha, who last week came within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record at the Millrose Games, had announced his intentions to break the 1500m mark ahead of his race in Birmingham. But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, had a plan of his own.
With the pacemakers having done their job, Kejelcha reached 1200m in 2:49.28 and was still on course to challenge the record, but Tefera was tucked close behind and looked ominously comfortable with the pace. The clock ticked through 3:03 as the bell sounded for the final lap and Samuel made his move, kicking past Yomif to take the lead and leaving his compatriot unable to respond. Samuel charged towards the line and stopped the clock at 3:31.04, taking 0.14 off the 22 years old record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997. Yomif finished second in an outright personal best of 3:31.58 while McSweyn held on to third place with an Oceanian indoor record of 3:35.10.
By winning the women’s 3000m earlier in the afternoon, Alemaz Samuel became the first confirmed World Indoor Tour champion of 2019, bagging a USD20,000 bonus and a wild card entry to the IAAF World Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.
With a blistering pace in the final kilometer as the Ethiopian contingent of Almaz, Axumawit Embaye and Meskerem Mamo began their long drive for home, world U20 1500m champion Almaz, proved to have the best finish and won in 8:54.60, 0.37 ahead of Axumawit.