Olympian Birmingham builds towards world championships

COLLIS Birmingham will turn his full attention to the World Cross Country Championships after continuing his domination of Tasmania’s Briggs Classic.

Birmingham won the 5000 metres for the sixth time in Hobart on Saturday.

The titles have come in the space of seven years, with the only break in the sequence being a non-appearance.

The Ballarat Olympian outclassed his rivals.

He has 50m to spare on the line from Britain’s Nick McCormick, who edged out early pacemaker Ryan Gregson.

Birmingham will now put the finishing touches to his preparation for the world cross country titles in Poland on March 24.

His build-up to date has been spot on, with him stringing together a series of wins in Australia and overseas since last year’s London Olympic Games.

He backed up from the 5000m at the Olympics with a 3000m victory in an IAAF World Challenge event at Rieti in Italy – becoming the first non-African in the 42-year history of the meet to win the 3000 – and then on returning to Australian claimed his fifth consecutive Noosa Bolt over the same distance.

Birmingham launched the new year with a commanding win in the Australian world cross-country selection trial and then produced a personal best to salute in the Marugame half-marathon in Japan.

Poland will be Birmingham’s sixth appearance in the World Cross Country Championships.

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