Double Olympic finalist Grant Fisher smashed the North American indoor 5000m record and even put the world record under threat, winning with 12:53.73 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston on Saturday (12).
Canada’s Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, meanwhile, also took down the North American indoor record in the women’s 5000m, winning in 14:31.38.
The men’s event was one of the fastest and deepest indoor 5000m races of all time, with three men finishing inside 13 minutes for the first time ever. Olympic silver medallist Moh Ahmed was second in a Canadian record of 12:56.87 while Britain’s Marc Scott broke the European record with 12:57.08 for third place. In both of the two fastest heats, 11 men finished inside 13:25 – a level of depth that had never been achieved before in a single race.
Fisher and his international training partners set out with the clear intent to run a fast time. They passed through the first kilometre just outside 2:36 and went through 2000m just inside 5:15, which was some way outside the pace required for a sub-13-minute finish.
After reaching 3000m in 7:53.51 with Britain’s Sam Atkin leading the pack, the pace started to increase; the 32-second laps became 31-second laps, then progressed to 30 and even quicker. With the fourth kilometre covered in 2:31.76, Atkin drifted off the pace, leaving Fisher, Ahmed, Emmanuel Bor and Scott at the front of the lead group.
The final kilometre was even quicker. Fisher, now dictating the race, started to open up a gap on Ahmed with four laps to go. Finishing with a 28.96 last lap – his fastest of the race – and a 2:28.21 final kilometre, Fisher crossed the line in 12:53.73, smashing Galen Rupp’s North American indoor record of 13:01.26 set back in 2014.
Fisher now sits at fifth on the world indoor all-time list, just four seconds shy of Kenenisa Bekele’s world record (12:49.60), and one place ahead of Eliud Kipchoge. Ahmed (12:56.87) and Scott (12:57.08), meanwhile, move to seventh and eighth respectively on the world indoor all-time list.
Behind the top three, Emmanuel Bor narrowly missed out on breaking 13 minutes, clocking 13:00.48. Atkin held on for fifth place with 13:03.64 and Jonas Raess set a Swiss record of 13:07.95 in sixth – tantalisingly close to breaking the outright Swiss record of 13:07.54 set by Markus Ryffel back in 1984.
SOURCE: WORLD ATHLETICS