Il britannico Moh Farah ha infranto a Birmingham il record del mondo due miglia indoor, in occasione del Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix che si è tenuto nel fine settimana (21 febbraio 2015), con il crono di 8'03"40.
It has become a familiar sight this, Mo Farah with the union jack sitting joyously on his shoulders while photographers form a chaotic half-moon around him. Only this time there was a twist. He wasn’t standing on a podium, but perched by a stadium clock showing a new world record, the first of his career.
Almost, but not quite. There was no hiding Farah’s desire when he entered the final 400m needing to run it in 58 seconds to break Kenenisa Bekele’s two-mile indoor world record of 8min 4.35sec, set on this track in 2008. Or the release as he hurled himself raggedly over the line in 8:03.40, nearly a second quicker than Bekele’s old world best.
The International Association of Athletics Federations dopes not class this as a championship world record because the two-mile race is a rarely run race. But tell that to Farah, who was justifiably elated that the sacrifice of seven weeks in Ethiopia, away from his wife and family, had been so satisfyingly rewarded.
“People have been saying, when are you going to break a world record? So it was nice to do it in the UK,” said Farah. “It was very special.”
He admits he may acquire a taste for more of this – but at the moment his desire to add to his two Olympic titles and three world championship titles burns stronger than his loose-fitting ambition to break Bekele’s 5,000m and 10,000m world records.
“It’s two different things, going for a world record or going for a championship,” Farah said. “And I want to be able to know I collected as many medals as I can for my country, so in years to come I can look back and show my kids.”
Farah’s victory – one of seven for Britain in the Birmingham indoor grand prix, the most ever in this event – stole the show from Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who broke her second British indoor record in a week in winning the long jump with a leap of 6.93m.
In the men’s long jump, a bulked-up Greg Rutherford set four indoor personal bests – including a final-round leap of 8.17m – to beat the new Chinese star Gao Xinglong. However, Rutherford insists he is not tempted to compete in Prague because he wants to focus on the world championships in Beijing.
“If it was any other year then I’d consider it but I’m so determined to win the world championships this year and I believe I can do that,” he said.
The only thing that distracted the Olympic champion was the sound of his 18-week-old son, Milo, crying as he was preparing for his second-round jump – which he subsequently fouled. “All of a sudden I was like: ‘I know that cry,’” joked Rutherford. “It’s probably why I fouled! Cheeky bugger.”
Jenny Meadows, the only athlete to run under two minutes for the 800m this year, was another British winner as she powered cleared at the bell to win in 2:01.26.
In the women’s 400m, meanwhile, the Welsh athlete Seren Bundy-Davies smashed her personal best by nearly half a second to win in 51.72, while Nigel Levine led from first to last in winning the men’s 400m.
But there was no British victory in the men’s 60m: Kim Collins, who is running faster than he ever has done indoors aged 38, maintained his unbeaten record in 2015 by beating Britain’s Chijindu Ujah in a time of 6.50.