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Results and report from glasgow

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Mo Farah at Aviva International 2009
Mo Farah receives his cheque for breaking the GB Indoor 3000m record


31 January 2009

Follow this link to see the Aviva International Match results

A brand new British Record from Mo Farah (Newham & Essex) and five further European Indoor Championship qualifying marks for British athletes were the highlights of a close fought Aviva International Match at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall on Saturday.

The Commonwealth Select took the team prize with 60 points from the Aviva GB & NI Team with 57, Germany were third with 51, USA fourth with 46 and Sweden fifth with 37. But there were plenty British individual performances for the sell-out 3,500 home crowd to savour.

Farah’s victory in the men’s 3000m had the crowd roaring. Running closely with Kenyan Gideon Gathimba (Commonwealth Select) the pair poured the pace on from the off, until Farah kicked on with three laps to go. 

Despite only having returned to the UK two days earlier from Kenya after a month-long training trip, he showed no signs of fatigue and produced a strong final flurry to beat’s John Mayock’s seven-year-old record by 0.10secs in 7:40.99 to collect a bonus of $5000USD. Gathimba placed second in 7:49.65.

Afterwards, Farah said: “That was a great start to the indoor season. I knew I was in good shape, but not that good. To break the British record is a real bonus, I never expected that. I have had a very good winter so far and it’s showing.

“I know that there is a lot more to come and I expect to run even faster as the season progresses. I have decided to focus on the European Indoor Championships only this winter.”

Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) beat a solid international field - including former World and Commonwealth 100m Champion Kim Collins – to win the men’s 60m in a swift 6.57. The 22 year old won silver at the last European Indoor Championships in Birmingham in 2007 and this win puts him forward as a likely contender to make the team again this time round.

Afterwards, Pickering said: ”It was a tough race, so I am pleased I came through and got the win. I might need more than that to make the GB & NI Team, there are people who are running well and I’ll have to go quicker. I’m confident, there’s no point going into a race if you’re not.” Second place went to Ivory Williams (USA) in 6.61, with Scot Nick Smith – running as a guest - giving the home crowd something to shout about, finishing 3rd in 6.63, 0.02secs inside the European Indoor qualifying guideline.

There were other British victories by middle distance stars Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Susan Scott (City of Glasgow Victoria Park) in the women’s 800m and 1500m respectively. Okoro won in 2:02.53 with strong front running tactics. Fellow Brit Jenny Meadows (Wigan AC) came in second in 2:03.57.

Okoro said : ”That was great, I felt good throughout the race. I love running here. The crowd are always very vocal.  I’ve had some very good winter training and to start in that fashion is great. I learnt a lot last summer and want to move on again this year.”
Scott was a popular winner in the city of her birth, winning in 4:14.66 following a string last lap burst to take her clear of fellow Brit Katrina Wootton (Bedford & County), representing the Commonwealth Select, who was second in 4:15.94.

Scott said: “I really enjoyed it obviously, it was good to get out there, training has been going good. I wasn’t expecting that much applause, it was great.  I loved it. It’s a great track and stadium.” Elsewhere, there were also European Indoor qualifying marks for Andy Turner (Sale Harriers), Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes) and Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers).

Turner was second in the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.64secs, six-hundredths inside the guideline; Rutherford was third in the men’s long jump with 7.91m, 1cm over the standard and Oni cleared 2.29m in the men’s high jump to place second, 2cm over the guideline.