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The sold out crowd of 12,000 plus in Barclaycard Birmingham NIA were entertained with a fine three hours of track & field. From Greg Rutherford's come from behind long jump win (his fourth indoor PB in the same competition!), to Katerina Thompson-Johnson's second NR in seven days (last week, the high jump in 1.94m and this week, the LJ in 6.93m), to Mo Farah's amazing 8:03.40 World Best for two miles (his first world record), the Sainsbury's Indoor GP did the job right.
If you want to see how an indoor meet should be done, heck, how any meet should be done, come to Birmingham, and watch this meet. From the promotions, to the press conference, to the great seating and viewing for media and fans, the event showcases the sport, British athletics and their sponsors, Sainsburys and Nike, among others.
Too bad that it will go to an every other year meeting in 2016.
Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net
Katerina Johnson-Thompson, SOPOT 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net
Katerina Johnson-Thompson is part of the present and future promise of British Athletics. Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 2012 Olympic champion, is back in training, after the birth of her first child. Morgan Lake, the World Junior phenom, is also doing quite well in 2015, as she did in 2014.
Over dinner the other night, I asked a keen observer of British Athletics why she believed that Britain was producing so many superb multi event women and yet, without Dean Macy, no promising male multi-eventers? She commented that the best male athletes in England, Wales and Scotland go to football or rubgy, whereas for women, athletics is where the most talented are going.
Mo Farah, 2011 Nike Pre 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net
Mo Farah answered more than a few questions yesterday afternoon with his brilliant and stirring World Record (IAAF notes it should be World Best) over two miles. One starts out with a mile in 4:03.9 and runs, mostly on own a final mile in 3:59.5, and if you are Mo Farah, the only person to do that on this planet, one is the fastest man over two miles with his 8:03.40, surpassing Kenenisa Bekele's 8:04.35!
Greg Rutherford's fine opener in the long jump (8.03m PB, foul, 8.08m PB, foul, 8.10m PB, 8.18mPB), showed that his training is coming along just fine, thank you. The 2012 Olympic champ, as well as 2014 European and Commonwealth Games champ will look for his first World Champs gold in 2015.
Mo Farah, A Day in the Life, April 2013, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF
Birmingham, UK. February 21, 2015
In a classic way to end a sporting event, Mo Farah broke his first World record on home soil, in front of his home crowd. " It is nice to do it on home soil! I love to represent my country. That drives me as an athlete to have my nation behind me. The half marathon will be different. What drives me is getting results like this! "
Mo Farah hit the 800 meters in 2:00.0, then the mile in 4:03.9. By 2000 meters hit in near 5:04, Mo Farah was on his own, racing for his first world record. It was a gutty, gritty effort, as Farah ran 3:59.5 for the final 1600 meters, and hit 8:03.40 for a new WR for two miles, breaking the former mark of Kenenisa Bekele of 8:04.35.
Did it hurt? Of course it did. As Mo was entering the center of the track, after the race, to do a post race interview with Katharine Merry, he threw up a couple of times.
Tough efforts require work, and we sometimes forget that fact.
Congrats to Mo Farah on his first WR and his next event is a half marathon in Lisbon in March!
Greg Rutherford, 2012 Great City Games,
photo by Vernon Photography/Nova International
The press conferences for the day before the 2015 Sainesbury's Indoor Grand Prix featured Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford. Mo spoke about his new altitude training site in Ethiopia. At 9000 feet, it is two thousand feet higher than Iten, Kenya, his past training site. Mo Farah told the assembled media that he needed a week to acclimatise. The workouts left him exhausted at first. Mo Farah believes he is better shape than last winter.
Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2014 Commonwealth and European champion at the long Jump, is only jumping once in the indoor season. Having put on 3 kilograms of muscle since last year, Greg wants to see how it will help him or hinder him in his jumping. Greg is one of the funniest athletes on the circuit.
Cam Levins, "A Day in the Life", April 2013, photo by Doug Pensingner/Getty Images for the IAAF
Sabrina Yohannes is a freelance journalist, based in New York, who writes on athletics, much of the time, on Ethiopian athletics. This is Sabrina's first piece for RunBlogRun. Cam Levins was supposed to race this weekend in the Canadian Indoor Champs, February 20 and 21. As I am posting this (about 9 pm local time in Montreal on Friday night), we did not know if Cam had recovered enough to consider racing this weekend.
Cam Levins started his 2015 off in grand style with a nifty double at the 2015 Armory Track Invitational, on 31 January 2015. Winning the mile (3:54.74) and the two mile (8:15.38), with a separation of less than thirty-two minutes was quite impressive. That Levins was barely off the NRs in both the mile and the two mile for Canada was more amazing.
Cam Levins joined the Nike Oregon Project in the spring of 2013. Coach Alberto Salazar had to cut Cam's mileage, which approached 140 miles a week in college, to bring him into Salazar's training plan.
In the summer of 2014, Cam Levins took a bronze medal in a very tactical, race to the finish Commonwealth Games' 10,000 meters.