Collis Birmingham's international stocks rise after world indoors

COLLIS Birmingham’s stocks in international distance running have taken a significant rise.

Birmingham claimed another world championship top 10 finish in the indoor titles in Poland early yesterday.

The dual-Olympian crossed the line 10th in the 3000m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot – adding to his eighth in last year’s World Cross Country Championships.

Athletics Australia described Birmingham’s achievement in his first world indoors as outstanding.

Birmingham clocked seven minutes, 57.55 seconds to match the placing of fellow Victorian Craig Mottram in the same event in Budapest in 2004.

It is also the third best performance by an Australian man in the 3000m in the history of the championship.

Birmingham qualified for the final with a sixth in his heat in 7:46.15.

The final began slowly, but as the paced increased going into the last six laps, Birmingham moved wide in an effort to remain in touch with a more speedy contingent of leaders.

Kenyan Caleb Indiku claimed the world title in 7:54.94 after turning the race into a sprint.

Bernard Lagat, USA, (7:55.22) was second with Dejan Gebremeskal from Ethiopia third in 7:55.39.

Birmingham’s achievement in Poland continues a strong start to the year for the national 10,000m champion.

He ran a sub-four minute mile in finishing second to Kenyan James Magut in the Perth Classic shortly before travelling to Poland.

Birmingham, who also holds the national half-marathon record, will now prepare to build on these efforts in the 5000m at IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday, March 22.

It is all part of a lead-up to the Glasgow Commonwealth Gameson July 23-August 3, with him having already qualified for the 10,000m.

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