Sun, Feb 11, 2018

Brazier misses American record by a whisker as multiple records fall at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

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A week after moving to second in the US all-time lists, Donavan Brazier missed the American 800 meter indoor record by a whisker. The 21-year-old clocked 1:45.11 – just 11 hundredths shy of the record Johnny Gray set all the way back in 1992 to take the win at the Reggie Lewis Center.

“I’m excited, a little disappointed,” admitted Brazier after his run. “I missed the American record just the second week in a row, 1:45 low. I was happy because it was a steep field, so just competing today was the main goal and coming in first.”

Meanwhile, national records fell in the men’s 300 meters as well as the 1500. Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards moved to seventh in the all-time list breaking the tape at 32.10, while Chris O’Hare clocked a Scottish 1500m record 3:37.03 to take the win. His time also bettered Bernard Lagat’s meet record of 3:38.15 that had stood since 2003.

In the women’s 1500 meters, Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum came out top with a 4:03.38 in a thriller race. Behind her and fresh from a win over 3000 meters at last week’s Millrose Games, Aisha Praught-Leer clocked a Jamaican record 4:04.95, while South Africa’s Dominique Scott, who finished fourth in 4:07.25, shaved over 3 seconds off her own national record.

Christian Coleman backed up his early season form that saw him clock a world-leading 6.37 for 60 meters in early January. The world 100m silver medalist eased off over the last few metres to stop the clock at 6.46, the third fastest time in the world this year.

US hurdler duo Sharika Nelvis and Christina Manning were joint 60 meter hurdles IAAF World Indoor Tour leaders going into today’s meet. In a photo finish requiring a magnifying glass to determine the winner, Nelvis came out top by a mere eight thousandths of a second in 7.89, with Manning awarded the same time.

“We're always pushing each other,” said Nelvis after the race, before Manning added: “We want to go one and two [at the IAAF World Championships] in Birmingham next month.”

In the women’s 800 meters, Canada’s Jenna Westaway – dubbed as a dark horse by training partner and world indoor champion Boris Berian at yesterday’s press conference – tucked in behind the pacer and didn’t let go of the lead until crossing the line first in a PR 2:01.22. Five-time NCAA 800m champion Raevyn Rogers came through strong in second in 2:01.73 in her 800m opener of the season.

The night in Boston closed with two thrilling 3000 meter races. Under the roaring cheers of the crowd, Jenny Simpson proved her class with a tactical win in 8:40.31.

“The last lap everyone just gets so loud,” she said. “I always think, I have to keep it together for all these people that are here cheering and really rooting for me.”

She pulled away from world steeplechase champion Emma Coburn after the pair had been running in a close pack that featured Ethiopia’s Fotyen Tesfay (8:41.08) and Britain’s Steph Twell, who clocked a PR 8:41.94 for third.

In the final event of the night and less than 24 hours after moving to second in the all-time lists with a 3:49.44 mile, Edward Cheserek showed his class again. In a dominant display in the men’s 3000 meters he took the win in 7:39.74. The 17-time NCAA champion sat back patiently as Spain’s Adel Mechaal led the way before Cheserek and Ethiopian duo Hagos Gebrhiwet and Dejen Gebremeskel reeled him in with two laps to go. From then on it was the Cheserek-show, with the former Orgeon duck breaking the tape in his second PR of the weekend.

Elsewhere, Shakima Wimbley and Deon Lendore took wins in the women’s and men’s 400 meters in 51.82 and 46.25 respectively. Sweden’s Erika Kinsey won the high jump with 1.91m, while Chris Carter of the USA won the triple jump with 16.67m.

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