Hawke's Bay runner Geordie Beamish has run a personal best for 5000 metres as he continues his build-up to the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
The US-based, 25-year-old Beamish, whose athletics career started to blossom while at Whanganui Collegiate School, ran 13min 29.88sec for ninth place in a high-class field at the Diamond League and prestigious US meeting the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, yesterday (NZT) .
It was at the Prefontaine Classic last August that Beamish attracted some international and on-line notoriety after a withering burst to win a mile, ruining the premature celebrations of American runner Craig Engels, who'd already started a victory salute to the crowd as he headed towards the finish line.
Beamish's time yesterday slashed almost seven seconds off his previous best outdoors of 13 min 36.71 sec, recorded in Irvine, California, on May 15 last year. On December 21 in Boston he ran an indoors personal best of 13min 12.53sec.
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Yesterday's race, at Hayward Field, where Beamish will run the World Championships 5000 metres in less than two months' time, was won by Ethiopia's Berihu Aragawi in 12min 50.05sec, a meeting record and the fastest in the world this year by almost eight seconds.
It compared with Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei's world record of 12min 35.36sec run in Monaco in 2020, his 12m 58.15sec in winning gold at the Olympics last year in Tokyo, and Ethiopian runner Muktar Edris's 12min 58.85sec in winning the last World Championships 5000m final in Doha, Qatar, in 2019.
The Prefontaine Classic was particularly notable for 21-year-old Bay of Plenty runner Sam Tanner's further emergence as New Zealand's next 1500 metres/one mile hope, by beating another high-class field to win the 1500 metres in a personal best of 3min 34.37sec – the fourth-fastest in the world this year.
Tanner's next 1500 metres is scheduled for the Oceania Championships in Mackay, Queensland, on June 7-11. The World Championships in Eugene are on July 15-24 and the Commonwealth Games are in Birmingham, England, on July 28-August 8.