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Bram Som paces second runner to a world record in two days

With Som's help, European half-marathon record-holder Julien Wanders grabs the 5K world record in Monaco. Meanwhile, back in Birmingham, Laura Muir sets a new British indoor mile record in 4:18.75

Julien Wanders of Switzerland and European 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands both set new world records at the Herculis 5K in Monaco today, a first world record for both. For the first three kilometres, Wanders was paced by none other than Dutch national 800m record-holder Bram Som, 39, who had just helped pace Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera to a world record in the indoor 1,500m in Birmingham 18 hours previously.

RELATED: Samuel Tefera breaks El Guerrouj’s 1500m world indoor record at age 19 

(Som had set a quick pace intended to help Yomif Kelecha snag the record in Birmingham, and was relieved by the Australian Jordi Williamsz. Kelecha led throughout the race, immediately picking up the pace when Williamsz stepped aside at the 1K mark, only to be outdone by Tefera in the final 200m.) 

Hassan set a new European record at the 2018 Copenhagen Half-Marathon in September. Her next race will be the Cross-Country World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark next month, after which she will target the 5,000m-10,000m double at the world championships in Doha.

The Kenya-based Wanders took 21 seconds off Mo Farah’s European half-marathon record last week with his 59:13 performance at the RAK Half-Marathon in UAR. Wanders intends to now focus on training for the 5,000m and 10,000m distances at this year’s world championships in Doha, and even mentioned the possibility of moving up to the marathon after the Tokyo Olympics next year.

As Jonathan Gault of Lets Run points out, world records in the the 5K road distance were only recognized for the first time last year. Looking at the history of this distance according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS), Sifan’s record holds up, having run 0.02 seconds faster than Meseret Defar‘s 14:46 from 2006. However Wanders’ 13:29 was half a second slower than Sammy Kipketer‘s 12:59 from 2000. Still, it was a full second faster than the previous record of 13:30 (set by Bernard Kibet at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10K last September). 

Meanwhile at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, UK, Scottish runner and triple European champion Laura Muir set a new British record in the indoor mile, cracking the top three on the world all-time indoor list with her 4:18.75 finish. The previous record was held by Kirsty Wade for 31 years.