After her brilliant 2016, Laura Muir has started the New Year in the most sensational style.
On Wednesday night in Glasgow, and running for 2000m on her own, the Scottish star moved to second on the European indoor all-time 5000m list and eighth on the world all-time with a run of 14:49.12. In the process she broke the British record of 15:03.17 held by fellow Scot Liz McColgan which had stood for 25 years, and at the time was a world record.
Muir intends to attempt a rare 1500m/3000m double at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade from 3-5 March.
— Lindsey Victoria (@LVY14) January 4, 2017
"I am delighted," said Muir, who has been training in South Africa. "It is nice to know where I am in the 5000m."
Speaking to Athletics Weekly, she added: "The stint in South Africa went really well and I could tell from my training when I got back…I was doing PB sessions over the 5000m training so I knew things were looking good. But you just never know until you race on the day."
She never could have imagined they would be this good as she produced such a wondrous record-breaking performance, which is not far behind Gabriela Szabo's European best of 14:47.35 from 1999.
Last summer, Muir was one of the world stars of the 1500m as she won the IAAF Diamond League race for the event, which included breaking her own British 1500m record with 3:55.22 in Paris, the best by a European in 2016. She also reached the Olympic final where she made a bid for gold and eventually finished seventh.
Now, with the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade exactly two months away and the World Championships in London in the summer, her rivals have been given early notice of what they will have to face.
What is more is that she was all alone for that final 2000m. She ran as part of a 3000m race where Kate Maltby was first of the rest at that point in 9:01.97 with Muir going through in 8:59.39 and as the rest stopped, she just powered on.
That time was inside the qualifying standard for Belgrade and with calls of “Come on Laura” ringing out at GAA Miler Meet at the Emirates Arena, Muir completed a brilliant performance.
Indoors or out, it was the best 5000m by a British woman for 11 years and there will be further chance for her nation to see her in action on Saturday as Muir is in the Scotland A team who will defend the Stewart Cup in the Mixed 4x1km relay at the Great Edinburgh XCountry.
And to add to a great 24 hours for Muir, on Thursday she was name as captain of the British for the Edinburgh event.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) January 5, 2017
She said: “To be given the opportunity to captain a British athletics team is a great honour, especially on home-soil and with such a strong team. We saw from the medals won at the European Cross Country championships last December that we have some fantastic cross country runners in both the senior and younger age groups, and hopefully, as team captain, I can help contribute to another successful event for the British team.”
Team Leader Spencer Duval said: “Laura enjoyed a terrific 2016 in the sport, and as both an Olympic and World Championship finalist in the last two years she now holds a level of experience that will allow her to lead the team by example.”