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AFP
February 11, 2019

Ethiopia’s Kejelcha just misses world indoor mile record

Sports

AFP
February 11, 2019

NEW YORK: Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha, twice a world indoor 3,000m champion, missed the world indoor mile record by one-hundredth of a second on Saturday in a dominating victory at the Millrose Games.

The 21-year-old distance star captured the feature event in the 112th edition of the US indoor classic in 3mins 48.46secs, with Kenya’s Edward Cheserek a distant second in 3:53.29.

But Kejelcha fell agonizingly short of his target, the mile indoor world record of 3:48.45 set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj on February 12, 1997 at the Flanders indoor meet in Ghent, Belgium. Kejelcha was not the only African runner to settle for the second-fastest time in history at the meet. Kenya’s Michael Saruni ran the second-fastest indoor 800 meters in history, winning in 1:43.98.

Saruni’s effort was second only to the indoor world-record time of 1:42.67 set by Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer in Paris at the 1997 World Indoor Championships.“Oh man, it’s crazy,” Saruni said. “I trained hard for this moment. I just had to do it.” Donavan Brazier was second in an American record 1:44.41 with American Sam Ellison third in a personal best 1:46.13.

“I’m excited about that, but Saruni snuck up on me,” Brazier said. “I had the other record but he passed me.”Brazier erased one of the oldest US indoor marks, lowering the former record of 1:45.00 set by Johnny Gray on March 8, 1992 at Sindelfingen, Germany.

A hush fell over the meet when Jamaican Kemoy Campbell, serving as a pace-setter to move the men’s 3,000 field along quickly, collapsed and fell into the infield just after the second turn just beyond the 1,000m mark. Campbell, 28, was carried out of the facility on a stretcher as other events were halted while he received medical attention.

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