British 800m runner runs 2:00.40 at World Indoor Tour meeting as Gudaf Tsegay, Lamecha Girma and Grant Holloway have world record near misses

With the World Indoor Championships on her home soil in Scotland in three weeks’ time, Jemma Reekie showed great form with an 800m victory in Lievin, France, on Saturday (Feb 10).

The 25-year-old clocked 2:00.40 to beat Noelie Yarigo of Benin and Audrey Werro, the European under-20 champion from Switzerland.

“It really felt comfortable and it was nice to practice some race tactics and that went well,” she said. “Today was not about running a good time, but about taking the win, so I’m very happy.

“I am aiming for Glasgow, but still have to run the British Champs next week first. They will take the winner from the nationals and one non-automatic qualifier to the Worlds, but I feel comfortable to make the team.

Jemma Reekie (Getty)

“It’s at home in Glasgow, so that’s very cool. World Indoor Championships are maybe not important for everyone, but if it’s at home, you want to perform. And apart from that, I would never turn away a World Indoor Championship medal.”

Elsewhere it was a night of world record near misses with Gudaf Tsegay, Lamecha Girma and Grant Holloway all coming close to setting global bests.

Gudaf Tsegay (Getty)

Tsegay ran 8:17.11 over 3000m to just miss Genzebe Dibaba’s world record of 8:16.60 from 2014. The Ethiopian world 10,000m champion spent much of the latter stages running slightly wide to overtake lapped runners too.

“It’s a very fast time, but I know I was capable of breaking the world record,” said Tsegay. “My focus this year is on the Olympic Games, so I’m not sure if I’ll be competing at the World Indoor Championships, but I wanted to run here in Lievin because I have good memories on this track.”

Girma was attempting to break Kenenisa Bekele’s world indoor 2000m mark of 4:49.99 but had to be content with the second-fastest time ever of 4:51.23.

Grant Holloway (Getty)

In the 60m hurdles, Holloway equalled his own meeting record with a world-leading 7.32 and was just three hundredths of a second outside the world record.

Reekie wasn’t the only Brit in form either as Laviai Nielsen won the women’s B 400m in 51.11, as Nicole Yeargin took the 400m C ace in 53.49 from Jessie Knight’s 53.51.

Laviai Nielsen (World Athletics)

The 400m A race, however, was won in style by Femke Bol of the Netherlands in a world lead of 49.63 ahead of fellow Dutch athlete Lieke Klaver’s 50.50.

In the men’s shot put there was a 22.37m world lead from Leonardo Fabbri of Italy as Britain’s Scott Lincoln threw 20.54m in seventh.

Femke Bol (Getty)

Eliza McCartney cleared a world lead and New Zealand indoor record of 4.84m to win the women’s pole vault ahead of Britain’s Molly Caudery and Finland’s Wilma Murto, who both cleared 4.75m.

There was also a world lead of 20.21 in the men’s 200m from Erriyon Knighton, who was making his indoor debut.


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A fast women’s 1500m saw Freweyni Hailu win in 3:57.24 ahead of fellow Ethiopian Diribe Welteji (3:57.48), but fifth-placed Sarah Healy clocked an Irish record of 4:03.83 as Revee Walcott-Nolan of Britain was eighth in 4:04.64.

Full results here.