Tefera sets indoor world record in 1,500m

Samuel Tefera shaved 0.14 off the old mark of 3:31.18 set by Moroccan great Hicham El Guerrouj in February 1997.

Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia celebrates after winning the Men's 1500m with a new indoor world record time.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Ethiopian teenager Samuel Tefera broke a 22-year-old indoor world record in the 1,500 meters on Saturday, clocking 3 minutes, 31.04 seconds at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old Tefera, who won the indoor world title in the distance in Birmingham last year, went past countryman Yomif Kejelcha as the duo entered the final bend and had the stronger finish to win by 0.54 seconds.

He shaved 0.14 off the old mark of 3:31.18 set by Moroccan great Hicham El Guerrouj in February 1997.

“I can’t believe that,” Tefera said. “I’m delighted with the outcome and to have the world record is a special feeling.”

Kejelcha had said before the meet that he was aiming to break the record, after coming within 0.01 seconds of setting a new world mark in the indoor mile last week at the Millrose Games.

El Guerrouj still holds the outdoor world record of 3:26.00, set in 1998. Britain’s Laura Muir also pleased the home crowd by beating the national women’s indoor record in the mile, which had stood since 1988.

Muir finished in 4 minutes, 18.75 seconds, shaving more than 5 seconds off the old mark set by Kirsty Wade 31 years ago. It was the third fastest indoor mile of all time by a woman.

“To run one of the fastest runs ever, a British record and a win in your final race before the (European) championships is perfect,” Muir said.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.