Laura Muir has become accustomed to producing the spectacular but Milnathort’s very own Pocket Rocket once again illustrated her emergence as a global force by breaking the European indoor 3,000 metres record at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Karlsruhe.
The 23-year-old left Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri in her wake as she blew past a convoy of back markers to burst clear off the final bend to win in 8:26.41, surpassing Liz McColgan’s long-standing British best which was set four years before Muir was born.
“I made sure on the last 200 that I had a kick finish in me,” said Muir. “I knew with my sprint, I should be able to have her. With the other girls a lap behind coming up, I told myself to keep the inside lane going into the bend and then really went for it and managed to come away with the win.”
It was the fifth-quickest outing at the distance of all time, meaning Muir has now set three UK records inside a year, with a maiden major title firmly in her sights at next month’s European Indoor Championships in Belgrade.
In Belgrade, the aim will be a 1,500-3,000m double, she has confirmed. However, another landmark effort will be the goal in her next appearance at the Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham in 12 days time.
“I will try to run a British record over 1,000 metres,” she said. “And then I will prepare myself for the Europeans.”
Andy Butchart ran the third quickest indoor mile by a Briton in his debut at the event to earn victory at the Armory Meeting in New York.
The Olympic finalist, who claimed the Scottish 3,000m record in Boston seven days earlier, set a world-leading time of 3:54.23 to just miss Chris O’Hare’s national mark.
On an exciting weekend for homegrown athletes, Callum Hawkins grabbed the Scottish half-marathon record by winning the Kagawa Marugame International in Japan in exactly 60 minutes.
The Kilbarchan prospect bolted to the front from the outset, before finally breaking his lone challenger, Kenya’s Abraham Kipyatich.
Elsewhere, Eilidh Doyle maintained her unbeaten start to 2017 by winning the 400m in Mondeville in 53.36secs, and Guy Learmonth lowered his 800m indoor PB for the second time in seven days by coming third in Karlsruhe in 1:47.04. Lynsey Sharp was fourth in the 600m in New York in 1:27.16, taking second place on the all-time Scottish list, while Heather Paton equalled Gemma Werrett’s Scottish 60m hurdles record of 8.34secs with victory in Dublin.
It once again illustrated the feelgood factor currently flowing through athletics in this country, with Scots having occupied top spot in the world rankings in six separate events so far this year – Doyle in the 400m indoor, Hawkins in the half marathon, Butchart in the indoor mile, Muir in the 3,000 and 5,000m indoor and Eilish McColgan in the 10k.
“I saw what Andy and Callum had done when I woke up,” Muir added. “I was thinking, ‘It’s not just me’. We’re all doing well.”