National marks for women’s 60m and men’s 3000m are broken by Asher-Smith in Karlsruhe and Atkin in Boston on Friday
On an action-packed evening of indoor athletics, two British records were smashed.
Firstly Dina Asher-Smith took two hundredths of a second off Asha Philip’s 60m mark with a commanding 7.04 victory in Karlsruhe. Then, over in Boston, Sam Atkin clocked 7:31.97 for 3000m to beat Mo Farah’s 7:33.1 best.
Asher-Smith’s run was no great surprise after she started her season so impressively in the Czech Republic last weekend, but for Atkin it represented a stunning 15-second indoor PB as he ran quicker than any Brit in history, indoors or out as Farah’s UK outdoor record was 7:32.62.
Atkin finished behind Yared Nuguse as the American won in 7:28.24 at the John Thomas Terrier Classic meeting on a Boston University track that has developed a reputation for being a super-quick surface.
Similar to Atkin, Nuguse’s run was the fastest by an American – indoors or out – in history as the previous record was 7:30.16 held by Galen Rupp. In addition, it moves Nuguse into the world top 10, just ahead of Eliud Kipchoge.
Sam Atkin with a truly monstrous run in Boston as the Puma athlete clocks a stunning British 3000m record of 7:31.97 🔥
It’s the fastest 3000m (indoors or outdoors) by a British athlete in history 🇬🇧
He also knocks 15 seconds off his indoor 3000m PB 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ZdnG7wl0bH
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) January 27, 2023
Atkin, who was born in Grimsby but is based in the US, has shown great promise in recent seasons with 13:03.64 indoors for 5000m and 27:26.58 for 10,000m. An enigmatic runner, his 10,000m best came after he started as a mere pacemaker but decided to continue to the finish.
However, he was disappointed with his major championships races last year, which included dropping out of the 10,000m at the Europeans and Commonwealth Games, not to mention the Olympic final in Tokyo in 2021. This was due to injury issues and struggling to get to grips with his new racing spikes from shoe sponsor Puma.
Amazingly he was also advised by two doctors to quit running aged 17 due to having Freiburg disease, where one of the metatarsals in his foot protrudes upwards, causing discomfort. But he ignored their warnings and has now broken a British record set by an athlete who won 10 global track titles.
READ MORE: Sam Atkin’s back story
Racing in the first World Indoor Tour Gold of 2023, Asher-Smith beat Ewa Swoboda, the Pole clocking 7.09 as Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland was third in 7.11.
Philip’s national record had stood since 2017 when she ran 7.06 to win the European indoor title. In addition Asher-Smith equalled the meet record of Irina Privalova from 1996.
Talk about a spectacular start to 2023 🔥
Dina Asher-Smith clocks 7.04 in the 60m to win in Karlsruhe and set a British record in the process 🇬🇧#WorldIndoorTour pic.twitter.com/jHR5Votqzi
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) January 27, 2023
“I did come here looking to run fast, I was really hopeful that it was going to be a national record for me,” said Asher-Smith. “For the rest of the season, I am looking to get faster and faster and hope to improve my PB again, but I am super happy at the moment with the result.
“The last years have been tiring and I have had some ups and downs so I am just really motivated. I know that I can run some fast times, I know that I am really good on a really good day.
“We do have a little winter project going on, so I did want to break the record and then it is about translating that into the 100 and 200 metres in the outdoor season.”
On a fine night for British athletes, George Mills opened his season with a runaway win in the 1500m in Karlsruhe as he clocked an indoor PB of 3:35.88.
“I’ve had a really good last two, three months of training since I came back from off-season,” he said. “It was nice to put the hard work into place today and show what I’m capable of on the track!
“I believe that I should be around this sort of athletes, so I wasn’t so nervous. For the last 10 weeks, I’ve based myself in Dullstrom, South Africa, for some winter sun, some nice weather and a bit of altitude. I only dropped in two days ago. I’ll probably race a couple more times in Europe this indoor season and hope to qualify for the European Indoors, although the British team is super strong.”
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