Muir motors to a championship record of 8:30.61 to retain her 3000m title

Laura Muir
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Laura Muir smashed her championship record with 8:30.61 to defend her 3000m title at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships  

The roof of the Emirates Arena remains intact - but only just. Such was the incredible noise it was amazing it did not raise as Laura Muir retained her 3000m crown with a remarkable performance at the Glasgow 2019 European Indoor Championships tonight (1).

With an incredible last lap of 28.33, Muir sprinted her way to victory, leaving German rival Konstanze Klosterhalfen like she was not there.

Muir crossed the line to win in 8:30.61, smashing the championship record of 8:35.67 she had herself set in Belgrade in 2017 when she won this title as part of her glorious double to go alongside the 1500m.

Now Muir is ready to repeat that act, having reached Sunday night's 1500m final less than three hours earlier by winning her heat in some style too.

"It was tough," said Muir. "But I just knew I could not lose it here. It is my home track and I know it so well. To win in Glasgow is one of the best highlights of my career - if not the best."

There could not have been a better finale to a superb opening day at the championships as Muir made it two golds for the host nation as her glory followed the pentathlon triumph of Katarina Johnson-Thompson less than half an hour earlier.

Muir led from the start but it was not long before her teammate and fellow Scot Eilish McColgan took over with Klosterhalfen always on the scene.

The volume in the arena was ascending but the crowd were saving their loudest for the crescendo they were hoping would build.

They were not to be let down.

Muir, 25, who won outdoor European 1500m gold in Berlin seven months ago, could run and train this winter as a qualified vet. No studies needed between sessions. Just recovery – and maybe even more sessions.

But she is such a sensation when that gun fires, that she finds extra gears which some athletes do not have.

A pack of eight went through with eight laps left having reached they first 1000m in 2:56.91.

But then Klosterhalfen took it on – simply because she had no choice. It was the only way she could possibly contemplate beating Muir who had such finishing speed.

Muir went with her and it became the duel that was expected, though another Brit - Melissa Courtney - was running the race of her life in third.

All eyes were on the top two, with the German taking them through 2000m in 5:48.92 but Muir was not far away.

At the bell, everything changed.

In a split second, Muir was gone, charging around Klosterhalfen, her legs and arms powering her on to another plane and the crowd just went wild.

She won in glorious style, collapsing on the track with 1500m splits of 4:25 and 4:05, before Klosterhalfen took silver and immediately bent down to congratulate her.

Klosterhalfen finished in 8:34.06 with Courtney taking bronze in a personal best of 8:38.22. She was not the only athlete to run a lifetime best. In fourth, Germany's Alina Reh achieved that feat in 8:39.45.

"I came here to win but it was a tough race," said Klosterhalfen. "And I know how strong Laura is."

Muir showed that when her action-packed night had begun two hours and 20 minutes earlier when she won the opening heat of the 1500m in 4:09.29.

And it was not an easy start as Romania's Claudia Bobocea took the race on at a fast pace through 400m in under 64 seconds, eventually finishing third in 4:09.67 as Katsiaryna Karneyenka was second in a personal best of 4:09.32.

But that was just a warm up for Muir. She saved her best for just before 10:00pm. It was a run which will live long in the memory.