Monday 20 May 2019

Cragg sets 5,000m personal best

ATHLETICS: After running the fastest 5,000m of his career on Saturday, Alistair Cragg was at Santry yesterday but took medical advice not to run his second 5km in less than 24 hours because of a calf twinge.

He said he was disappointed not to compete in the National Championships after running a 5,000m PB of 13:07.10 at a low-key meeting in Belgium.

The spectators at Cragg's race in Brasschaat were mostly those taking part in a meeting set up by Irishman Ray Flynn to help Alan Webb have a go at the 25-year-old American mile mark - something he did spectacularly as he clocked 3:46.91 to smash Steve Scott's 3:47.69 mark from 1982.

Cragg, who dropped out of his last 5000m in Rome two weeks ago, performed just as impressively, only to be pipped by unknown Ethiopian Bekana Daba (13:06.52) in the straight.

The Irishman finished ahead of another Ethiopian, Markos Geneti (13:07.65), in a time which bettered his PB of 13:08.97. That makes him Europe's fastest man this summer and ranked 12th in the world. It is the ideal boost for Cragg after his failure to complete his last three 5,000m races. "I've been in great shape and I knew I could run quicker but I've been trying to jump the gun," he admitted.

Depending on his fitness, Cragg may race over 3,000m in Monte Carlo on Wednesday and in the two-mile race at the Crystal Palace GP.

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