ATHLETICS: Kejelcha takes world mile record in special Boston race

Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right?

The third record try by Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha turned out to be the charm, as he broke the world indoor mile record by running 3:47.01 in Boston in a special race held after the IC4A/ECAC Indoor Championships at Boston University.

Kejelcha had some within 0.01 of Moroccan star Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:48.45 mark at the Millrose Games in New York in February. His coach, Alberto Salazar, set up this special race for another attempt at the record.

Called the Bruce Lehane Invitational Mile, Kejelcha was paced by veteran U.S. 800 m star Erik Sowinski, and Harun Abda and used a hard kick to break the record

Kejelcha was also trying for the recently-set 1,500 m record of 3:31.02 by countryman Samuel Tefera, but crossed in 3:31.25 en route, the third-fastest performance in history.

Kejelcha wasn’t alone on the track, as American Johnny Gregorek finished second in 3:49.98, becoming only the sixth man ever to run the indoor mile under 3:50 and moving to no. 6 all-time and no. 2 on the all-time U.S. list!

American Sam Prakel was third in 3:50.94, which makes him equal-11th all-time indoors and no. 5 on the all-time U.S. list. Henry Wynne (USA) was fourth in 3:51.26 – a personal best by four seconds! – and Craig Engels was fifth in 3:53.89, also a lifetime best for the mile, indoors or out!

In the women’s mile, Ce’Aira Brown (USA) won in 4:28.12, no. 11 on the world list for 2019 and a three-second-plus personal best as well!