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Josh Kerr smashes Mo Farahs world two miles record at Millrose

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Published in Athletics
Sunday, 11 February 2024 13:47
British middle-distance man clocks 8:00.67 in New York as Laura Muir runs European two miles record, Devynne Charlton a world 60m hurdles record and Yared Nuguse wins the Wanamaker Mile

Racing with the confidence and poise befitting a world champion, Josh Kerr smashed the world indoor record for two miles at the Millrose Games in New York on Sunday (Feb 11) with 8:00.67. Until now the US-based Brit has been weighing up the pros and cons of doing the World Indoor Championships, but surely this will sway him to come to Glasgow in three weeks time.

Not only did Kerr surpass Mo Farahs world mark of 8:03.40 but he beat Sam Atkins UK indoor 3000m record of 7:31.97 with 7:30.16. It will be interesting to see what Jakob Ingebrigtsen makes of Kerrs performance, although the Norwegian has run a two miles world record of 7:54.10 outdoors to be fair.

Grant Fisher, the US record-holder at 5000m and 10,000m outdoors, forced much of the pace with Kerr sitting on him until around 300m to go when he took off. With splits of 4:03.63 and 3:57.04 he proved an emphatic winner and even had time to show-boat a little in the home straight.

Fisher was rewarded with a US indoor record of 8:03.62 as Cole Hocker of the US was third in 8:05.70 and Geordie Beamish of New Zealand fourth in 8:05.73.

In his first race of the year Kerr looked splendid as he raced away from his rivals. Only Ingebrigtsen and Daniel Komen have run faster over the distance both outdoors. Indoors, he not only beat Farahs record but also the best times managed by such legends as Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie and Eliud Kipchoge.

Josh Kerr (Getty)

When Farah set the record, in Birmingham in 2015, he had spent much of the week grabbing headlines for a Twitter spat with Andy Vernon that made the recent Kerr-Ingebrigtsen trash talk look tame.

Farah went through the first mile in 4:04 and passed 3000m in 7:33.1. But even the fast-finishing multiple global track champion would have struggled to have lived with Kerrs finishing pace.

That was so hard, said Kerr. Running two four-minute miles is harder than I thought. It was nerve-wracking to say I was going for a world record so far out before the meeting but I wanted to create some hype for the event.

If Kerr travels to Glasgow, he could face Yared Nuguse, who won the Wanamaker Mile on Sunday a shade outside Yomif Kejelchas world record with 3:47.83. This depends on whether Kerr picks the 1500m or 3000m at those championships, though.

Nuguse was beaten over 5000m a fortnight earlier by Britains George Mills and at Millrose the pair were one-two with a lap to go. But Mills chances were thwarted when he was clipped from behind accidentally by Hobbs Kessler.

Yared Nuguse (Getty)

Nuguse stretched away in the lead as Mills struggled to regain his momentum and was passed by Kessler in the home straight with the 20-year-old American running 3:48.66 to Mills 3:48.93.

Close behind, though, Adam Fogg was a revelation in fourth as he smashed his PB to run 3:49.62. After earning a relatively late entry into the race with a recent 3:53.55 win at the Dr Sander Invitational, he arrived at Millrose hoping to merely pick off a few of the back markers. Yet after going through 800m almost two seconds slower than Nuguse, he closed dramatically in the third quarter and finished hot on the heels of the top three.

When it comes to metric mile times, Mills 1500m split of 3:33.91 moves him to No.3 all time in UK and Foggs 3:34.37 moves him to No.5.

On a night that puts Millrose in pole position as the best indoor grand prix meeting of the season, Laura Muir ran a European record indoors and out in the two miles with 9:04.84, although she was a few seconds down on Genzebe Dibabas world record of 9:00.48. Whats more, the Brits 3000m split was a world qualifier of 8:31.70.

Laura Muir (Getty)

Muir was outkicked by Medina Eisa, with the Ethiopian running 9:04.39, but Eisa was disqualified for a lane infringement at the start of the race, which meant Muir took the win.

In third, Melknat Wudu of Ethiopia ran 9:07.12 with long-time leader Alicia Monson clocking a US record of 9:09.70.

World records in the womens sprint hurdles tend to be a bit of a surprise. At the 2016 London Diamond League, Keni Harrison shocked spectators with a world 100m hurdles record of 12.20, where a clock timing malfunction that initially showed a slower time caused initial confusion among the crowd. In 2022 Tobi Amusan set a record of 12.12 in her World Championships semi-final at the start of one of the evening sessions when many fans in Eugene had yet to take their seat.

Devynne Charlton (Getty)

Flash forward to this weekend in New York and Devynne Charlton ran 7.67 to beat Susanna Kallurs 2008 mark of 7.68. The 28-year-old from Bahamas was fourth at the World Championships in Budapest last year and is determined to break records and win an Olympic medal in 2024.

Elle St Pierre was in spectacular form in the womens Wanamaker Mile, too, as the American, who is coming back from a baby break, won in a US record of 4:16.41 from Jess Hull, who clocked an Australian record of 4:19.03 in second. Only Dibaba and Gudaf Tsegay have run faster.

Elle St Pierre (Getty)

Elsewhere, Julien Alfred of Saint Lucia won the womens 60m in a world lead and meeting record of 6.99, as Christian Coleman of the United States won the mens 60m in 6.51.

Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the womens high jump with a meeting record of 2.00m but the Ukrainians attempts to go higher were thwarted when the action was stopped to play the national anthem, costing her valuable momentum.

Full results here.

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