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Farah goes second on UK all-time 5000m list!

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On a great night for students at the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary’s University Twickenham, Mo Farah sped to second in the UK all-time 5000m rankings and Jemma Simpson joined the exclusive sub-2 club of Women’s 800m runners.

 

The pair were the UK’s outstanding performers at the renowned Night of Athletics at Heusden, Belgium, on Saturday 22 July.

Farah, aged 23, started the 5000m race with a season’s best of 13:40.53, run at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on 20 March – a time that placed him only fourth in the UK rankings for this year and well outside the UK Athletics elite entry standard of 13:32.00 for next month’s European Championships in Gothenburg.

 

He crossed the line in 13:09.40 – a time that is second in the UK only to the national record of 13:00.41 run in Oslo on 7 July 1982 by David Moorcroft, who is now the Chief Executive of UK Athletics.

 

Such are the standards in Africa that Farah was the sixth over the line, behind three athletes from Kenya and two

 

representing Qatar. But his time hoists him instantly from 26th in the European rankings for this year to second behind Alistair Cragg (Ireland), who clocked 13:08.97 when finishing fifth in the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on 3 June.

 

It completed a momentous double for the star students at the UKA Endurance Performance Centre. A little over two hours earlier, 22-year-old Simpson became the 13th UK female ever to run 800m in under 2 minutes. She clocked 1:59.99 to finish runner-up, only seven-hundredths of a second behind Mina Ait-Hammou (Morocco).

 

Such is the quality of UK middle distance running in the wake of the inspirational 2004 Olympic double by Dame Kelly Holmes, the time, well under the UKA elite entry standard of 2:01.00 for Gothenburg, places Simpson only third in this year’s domestic rankings behind AAA Champion Becky Lyne and Scotland’s Susan Scott.

 

There was more to interest the selectors who have just over a week in which to finalise the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for Gothenburg when Tim Benjamin clocked 45.61 seconds to go second in the UK rankings for the season and beat the European Championships elite entry standard of 45.80.

 

UK and other leading performances in Heusden [with UKA elite entry standards for Gothenburg in brackets]:

 

Men – 100m [10.26] heat 2 (wind: -0.6): 1 Ainsley Waugh (Jamaica) 10.23; … 5 Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) 10.69. 400m [45.80]: 1 Derrick Brew (USA) 44.96; … 6 Tim Benjamin (Belgrave) 45.61 season’s best. 5000m [13:32.00]: 1 Micah Kogo (Kenya) 13:06.49; 2 James Mwangi Murigi (Kenya) 13:06.71 season’s best; 3 Gamal Belal Salem (Qatar) 13:06.81 personal best; 4 Mark Bett (Kenya) 13:07.94 season’s best; 5 Sultan Zaman (Qatar) 13:09.11 personal best; 6 Mo Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles) 13:09.40 personal best; … Race 2: 1 Tiony Mark Kiprop (Kenya) 13:19.41; … 17 Chris Thompson (Aldershot Farnham and District) 13:48.75. 3000m steeplechase [8:25.00]: 1 Richard Matelong (Kenya) 8:08.44; … 14 Adam Bowden (Harrow) 8:28.42 personal best; … 17 Stuart Stokes (Sale Harriers Manchester) 8:37.23. Pole vault [5.70m]: 1 Steven Hooker (Australia) 5.76; … 8 Steve Lewis (Newham and Essex Beagles) 5.21.

 

Women – 100m [11.30] B final (wind: +0.8): 1 Geraldine Pillay (South Africa) 11.31; 2 Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnet) 11.35; 3 Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) 11.43; … 5 Abi Oyepitan (Shaftesbury Barnet) 11.67. 200m [23.00] final (wind: +0.4): 1 Debbie Ferguson (Bahamas) 22.56; … 8 Oyepitan 23.78. 3000m steeplechase [9:40.00]: 1 Jeruto Kiptum (Kenya) 9:26.79 national record; … 3 Roisin McGettigan (Ireland) 9:32.04 national record; 15 Jo Ankier (Shaftesbury Barnet) 9:56.38. High jump [1.91m]: 1 Tia Hellebaut (Belgium) 1.98; … 4 Julie Crane (Sale Harriers Manchester) 1.83.