Mo Farah smashed the European 10,000 metres record in winning the Prefontaine Classic at the Eugene Diamond League meeting in Oregon. The 28-year-old Londoner's time of 26min 46.57sec wiped nearly six seconds off the Belgian Mohammed Mourhit's mark of 26:52.30 set in 1999, and also eclipsed Jon Brown's 13-year-old British record of 27:18.14.
"That was awesome," said the Somalia-born athlete afterwards. "I was really confident, and I knew if I could stay in the group I could work my way through and see what I could do on the last lap."
Farah, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m at last year's European Championships, finished just ahead of Ethiopia's Imane Merga, whose time of 26:48.35 was a personal best.
"I want a world [championship] medal and showed here that if I keep working hard I will be in the mix," added Farah, whose previous fastest time was a 27:28.26 set last year. The world championships take placein Daegu, South Korea, starting on 27 August.
"This is definitely a special track. If it wasn't for the crowds I would never have done this. With three laps to go I knew I had the chance for the record."
Farah appears to be benefiting from a move earlier this year to the United States, where he began working in Oregon with Alberto Salazar, who won three successive New York marathons. "I wasn't even looking to win this race," he said. "I just wanted to run a good time. Albertotold me before the race I was ready to run under 27 minutes and I just used my patience."
Farah has been building momentum of late, also winning the Bupa London 10,000m in 29:15 on Monday.
The Kenyan Moses Mosop also broke records at Eugene, setting new times for the rarely run 25,000m and 30,000m. The 2005 world 10,000m bronze medallist took more than two minutes off the longer race record, finishing in 1hr 26min 47.4sec and lapping all seven of his competitors at least twice over the 75 laps. The 25-year-old then clocked 1hr 12min 25.4sec for the shorter race.
Toshihiko Seko of Japan set both previous records at Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 1981, with times of 1:29:18.8 and 1:13:55.8 respectively. Both distances are recognised as official world records bythe International Association of Athletics Federations.