Alistair Cragg’s had the fastest 5,000 metres by a European this season at the weekend and in the process made the qualifying standards for both the World Championships in August and next year’s London Olympics.
He was in New York for the Diamond League meeting were conditions were far from ideal, yet the 30-year-old Cragg defied this and his current form to clock 13:12.21 when finishing eight. This was not only his fastest time since running 13:07.10 four years ago but also the fastest by a European this year.
It was well inside the A-qualifying standard of 13:20.0 for both the World Championships in Daegu and the London Olympics, and will go a long way towards restoring Cragg’s confidence as he attempts to rediscover the form of his early career. Cragg had eight of the 11 Kenyans behind him with Dejen Gabremeskel of Ethiopia taking victory in 13:05.22.
More good news followed as both Fionnuala Britton and Stephanie O’Reilly also ran lifetime bests by several seconds in the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, clocking 9:37.60 and 9:42.91 respectively. This also beat both the World Championship and Olympic standard (9:43.00), and Britton’s time ranks her number two in Europe.
There was also a better run from David Gillick when finishing fourth in the B 400 metres race in 46.64, improving on his seasonal opener of 46.80 last week, despite the bad conditions.