COLLIS Birmingham and Ryan Gregson set an Australian record for the men’s 4x1500m relay in the inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas.
Ballarat Project athlete Selma Kajan backed it up in the same session as part of an Australian women’s 4x800m record on Monday morning.
Birmingham (three minutes, 38.3 seconds) and Gregson (3:39.1) teamed with Sam McEntee (3:44.9) and Jordan Williamsz (3:43.7) to produce an epic effort to clock a time of 14 minutes, 46.04 seconds, finishing fourth overall.
It trims 0.88 seconds off the previous best Australian time that Birmingham and Gregson helped to set in 2009. Kenya won the event in world record time – 14:22.22.
Birmingham, running the third leg, powered Australia into third place after starting 30 metres behind his Ethiopian rival but handed the baton to Williamsz with a five-metre gap.
Williamsz, who like Gregson also competed in the men’s 4x800m, produced a brave run but he could not maintain third spot.
Birmingham entered the inaugural world relays on stellar form in the United States over the past month including a Commonwealth Games 5000-metre qualifying time in an upset win against American Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Galen Rupp in Los Angeles last weekend.
Gregson, who clocked a 1500m qualifying time for Glasgow in the same meet, was also part of an Australian 4x800m relay record on day one in Nassau.