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World leads and national records smashed at Polish indoor meet

The second-last meet on the World Athletics Indoor Tour calendar produced a lot of exciting and record-breaking races

Top athletes showed up to race in Torun, Poland, on Wednesday at the penultimate meet of the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour. The event saw a number of world-leading times run, plus two historic results from Great Britain’s Elliot Giles in the 800m and Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu in the 3,000m. Giles ran the second-fastest indoor 800m of all time, clocking a 1:43.63 result, and Hailu posted the fastest indoor 3,000m ever run by a teenager, stopping the clock in 8:31.24. 

Hailu’s big win 

Hailu, who will turn 20 in May, entered Wednesday’s race coming off a 3,000m win a week earlier at the previous World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in France. She ran 8:32.55 (a personal best) to take the win in France, and she ran even better on Wednesday in Poland, shaving more than a second off her days-old PB. 

Hailu faced 3,000m steeplechase world record holder and world champion Beatrice Chepkoech, who ran a 5K world record on Sunday in Monaco. Chepkoech ran a PB on Wednesday, crossing the line in 8:31.72, but she wasn’t fast enough to match Hailu. The two women now hold the top two times in the world so far this year. 

RELATED: Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Gudaf Tsegay break 1,500m records at French indoor meet

Giles’s British record 

Giles has had a tremendous start to his season. He is undefeated in the 800m and he has a pair of third-place finishes in 1,500m races. While his previous performances were impressive, his run in Torun is undoubtedly the best of his season so far. His previous PB in the indoor 800m was 1:45.46, which placed him at 35th on the all-time list. He catapulted himself up the ranks on Wednesday, and now only Wilson Kipketer of Denmark has run faster, with his world record of 1:42.67 from 1997. 

Giles also moves from third in the all-time British ranks to the top of the list, bettering Seb Coe‘s 38-year-old national record of 1:44.91. His run is also the new world lead, as it beat Donavan Brazier‘s recent American record of 1:44.21 that he ran on February 13 in New York City. 

RELATED: British champ sets world U20 indoor 800m record with 1:59.03 run in Austria

Other big results 

Dutch teenager Femke Bol won the 400m, lowering her own national record to 50.66 seconds. In the men’s 1,500m, Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega took the win, running a PB of 3:32.97 to crush the rest of the field. Second place went to Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, who also set a national record, beating his previous mark by close to a second and stopping the clock in 3:35.71. 

For full results from Wednesday’s meet, click here.