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Tefera breaks world indoor 1500m record in Birmingham

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera upstaged compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the long-standing world indoor 1500m record at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham on Saturday.

Gold Medallist, Samuel Tefera of Ethopia celebrates winning the Mens 1500 Metres Final during the IAAF World Indoor Championships on Day Four at Arena Birmingham on March 4, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for IAAF)
Gold Medallist, Samuel Tefera of Ethopia celebrates winning the Mens 1500 Metres Final during the IAAF World Indoor Championships on Day Four at Arena Birmingham on March 4, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for IAAF)

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera upstaged compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the long-standing world indoor 1500m record at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham on Saturday.

Kejelcha, who last week came within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record, had announced his intentions to break the 1500m mark ahead of his race in Birmingham.

The pacemakers hit their required target times, taking Kejelcha through 800m in 1:52.70 and 2:49.28 at 1200m. But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, was tucked right behind Kejelcha and looked ominously comfortable with the pace.

The clock ticked through 3:03 as the bell sounded for the final lap and Tefera made his move, kicking past Kejelcha to take the lead.

Tefera charged towards the line and stopped the clock at 3:31.04, taking 0.14 off the previous record set by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997.

Kejelcha finished second in an outright personal best of 3:31.58.

Tefera’s progression at 1500m

2016: 3:43.0 Addis Ababa
2017: 3:33.78 Hengelo
2018: 3:31.63 Shanghai / 3:36.05i Val-de-Reuil
2019: 3:31.04i Birmingham World indoor championships

1500m record progression

3:36.03 Jose-Luis Gonzalez (ESP) Oviedo, 1986
3:35.6 Marcus O’Sullivan (IRL) East Rutherford, 1989
3:34.20 Peter Elliott (GBR) Seville, 1990
3:34.16 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) Seville, 1991
3:31.18 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) Stuttgart, 1997
3:31.04 Samuel Tefera (ETH) Birmingham, 2019

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