Athletics: Ngeny closes on Coe record

THE FINAL vestige of Britain's golden age of middle distance running survived a new age assault on the Cote D'Azur last night. By less than half a second - 0.49 sec, to be precise - Sebastian Coe's 1,000m world record eluded the clutches of Noah Ngeny, the 20-year-old Kenyan who has a training base in Teddington and whose burgeoning running career is guided by Kim McDonald, a rival of Coe in their teenage years in Yorkshire.

At the Nikaia grand prix meeting in Nice, Ngeny followed a stunning performance 11 days ago in Rome, where he clocked 3min 43.40sec behind Hicham El Guerrouj's world mile record, with another outstanding run. In stopping the clock at 2:12.67, he is the latest to highlight how exception-al Coe's record was, 2:12.18 in Oslo in 1981. Steve Cram and Noureddine Morceli both tried to break it but neither came as close as Ngeny, who was inspired on the track where he broke Jim Ryun's world junior mile record two years ago.

The meeting was due to feature another world record attempt, by El Guerrouj in the 2,000m, but the Moroccan fell sick on Friday and also withdrew from the Paris Golden League event next Wednesday. But Mark Richardson made his presence felt, winning the 400m with ease in 44.99sec. His was not the only encouraging British performance.

John Mayock ran an astutely paced race in the 1,500m, finishing strongly to take third place behind the Algerian Ali Saidi-Sief and Seneca Lassiter of the United States in 3:33.96, his fastest time of the season. Katharine Merry was less prominent in the women's 200m, though fifth place in 22.90sec was a more than satisfactory performance by the 24-year-old Birchfield Harrier after a disappointing run in the European Cup last month.

There were two notable British absentees, Steve Backley withdrawing from a scheduled clash with his old nemesis Jan Zelezny, who won the javelin with a throw of 85.46m, and Tony Jarrett scratching from the 110m hurdles, citing "fatigue". Both could miss the CGU world championship trials at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham next weekend.

A definite absentee will be the new golden boy of British high jumping, Ben Challenger, who was allowed to concentrate on the following week's European Under-23 Championships in Gothenburg. The 20-year-old Charnwood Harrier - whose father, Romeo, was the drummer for Showaddywaddy - will miss a "battle of Britain" clash with Steve Smith, who tops the world rankings with 2.36m. His place in the British team for Seville was assured by his 2.30m win in the World Student Games in Majorca last weekend.

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
News
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking
people
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...

Recruitment Genius: Lift and Elevator Contract Manager - London

£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Engineer - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Engineer is required to...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Hull - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence