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Tefera obliterates World Indoor 1500m record

Record-breaker: Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera after setting a new men’s world indoor 1500m record in Birmingham on Saturday © AFP / Ben STANSALL

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Feb 16 – Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera set a new 1500 metres indoor world record in Birmingham on Saturday as he broke a mark that had stood for more than 20 years.

Tefera upstaged compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to stop the clock in a time of 3min 31.04sec, shaving 0.14sec off the previous record set by Moroccan middle-distance great Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997.

Kejelcha, who came within 0.01sec of the world indoor mile record last week, had announced his intention to break the 1500m mark ahead of Saturday’s World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham.

And with pacemakers taking the field through 800m in 1:52.70 and 2:49.28 at the 1200m mark, Kejelcha was on course for a record.

But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, was tucked in on his shoulder and, as the bell sounded for the final lap, he kicked past his countryman and charged towards the line.

Kejelcha came second in an outright personal best of 3:31.58.

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