The 29th NB Indoor Grand Prix was held on Sunday, February 4, 2024. The site is the amazing NB facility, the TRACK at New Balance, one of the new facilities at the NB Headquarters.

The TRACK at New Balance features a mechanical Beynon track, 200 meters banked, which is one of the fastest that I have ever seen. The facility is what makes it special. Seating for just about 5,000, great windows showing off the natural light, and the intimate setting that is loved by athletes and fans. The sound of the cheering resonates in the TRACK at New Balance Facility.

My only beef? I would love the Media Center, which is not permanent, to be a bit higher just so we can see the events a bit better. Wifi is great, the staff (thanks AJ Holhzer) at the facility is on it, as is the incredible team from Global Athletics, headed by Brett Schumacher. Most of the team has been around for two decades or more.

The infrastructure and the culture of the event make this meet one of my favorites.

One also, having traveled to meets in close to 50  countries, notices the great meets. New Balance’s love of the sport is present, from the facility to the athletes they sponsor. The track that Jim Davis (who bought NB in 1972 and is in the Running Event Hall of Fame) built shows the affection that the only privately held major running brand has for the sport.

A nice surprise in Boston on Saturday was seeing Micheal Johnson, 1996 Olympic gold medalist at 200m, 400m, and former WR holder at both. Michael and I were able to chat for a few minutes, and I always enjoy his social media commentary and his BBC involvement (I watch on You Tube). MJ loves the sport, and his thoughtful commentary elevates our sport.

And on Saturday, his coach, Clyde Hart, turned 90!
Clyde coached at Baylor for about a thousand years, and the guy is one of the brightest minds in the 400m training. Clyde’s piece for the SuperClinic 1996 is still a classic in modern track training.

As I entered the TRACK at NB, I saw the one, the only, Aries Merritt, WR holder at the 110m hurdles, who is now coaching at Brown University. If you want to learn from the very best kids, keep a 4.00 GPA and apply for Brown.

The Women’s 60-meter heats…

In the first round of the Women’s 60 meters, Australia’s Zoe Hobbs, the first Aussie under 11 seconds in the 100m, ran 7.16, Kiara Parker ran 7.18, and Celera Barnes ran 7.21, all moving to the final.

In the second round of the Women’s 60 meters, Destiny Smith-Barnett ran 7.17, Mikiah Brisco, 7.18, and Brianna Selby, 7.35.

Eight move on to the final.

Mikia Brisco, Zoe Hobbs, 2024 NB Indoor GP, photo by Kevin Morris

In the Men’s Long Jump, Carey McLeod wins on the first jump as a pro! 

In the Men’s Long Jump, Carey McLeod, JAM, took the lead on the first attempt, with 8.20m, and no one got close. Jacob Fincham-Dukes, GB, leaped 8.02m in his last attempt. JuVaughn Harrison, silver medalist at HJ from Budapest, was third in 7.87m.

This was Carey’s first competition as a professional. When Tiffany Offili, a European medalist, asked Carey if he was surprised that he won the first competition, Carey noted that “the field was tough.”

Carey McLeod takes the LJ in his first pro event, 2024 NBIGP, photo by Kevin Morris,

The Men’s 60m hurdle heats…for every action comes a reaction…

In the first heat of the men’s 60m hurdles, Trey Cunningham, Eugene 2022 silver medalist, showed his fitness and health with 7.44. Daniel Roberts, 2023 Budapest medalist, 7.51, Lou Rollins, 7.65. Trey, injured in 2023, is showing high fitness and confidence in his hurdling in 2024.

Trey Cunningham owned the WL for less than five minutes!

Trey Cunningham, Daniel Roberts, 2024 NBIndoorGP, photo by Kevin Morris

In heat two, Grant Holloway answered the 7.44 of Trey Cunningham with a fine 7.37, taking the world lead away from Trey. Cordell Tinch took second in 7.60, and Michael Dickson took third in 7.64, all moving on to the 60m hurdle final, which is LOADED!

Grant Holloway, 2204 NB Indoor GP, photo by Kevin Morris

The Women’s 800 meters,

You have to love the 800m indoors!

In the women’s 800m, Aziza Yaoub paced the field through 58.17 at the 400m, and the racing began. With two laps to go, Carley Thomas took control and lead at 600m (1:30.37), and there were five ready to pounce. Isabelle Boffey, a fine GB middle distance runner, pounced on Allie Wilson, but Sammy Watson made the decisive move, winning in 2:01.20 PB, with Isabelle Boffey, 2:01.53, and Allie Wilson, 2:01.84. Carley Thomas held on, with her 4th in 2:01.96!

Sammy Watson takes the 800 meters, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Fascinating how things change in a year. I recall Sammy having a tough year in 2023, and now, after a strong second half of 2023, she is starting 2024 on the right foot.

The Men’s 600 meters, won by an athlete from Ireland! 

The Men’s 600 meters is a perfect indoor distance, and Mark English, a European medalist indoors at 800m, showed his mettle. Three laps, the meeting place of 400-meter runners and 800 meters!

A close 600 meters, taken by Mark English, Ireland, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Jake Ulrich, USA, lead at 200m, 23.89, 400m in 48.89 and then, was rushed by the field. Ulrich finished fifth in 1:17.22. Hazem Miawad, finished fourth in PB 1:17.03, with the battle for the top three down to Mark English, Ireland, who ran 1:16.64 PB for first, John Rivera, Puerto Rico, 1:16.67 PB, and in third, Oliver Desmueles, Canada, 1:16.68.

 

Deja Vu all over again. Sadie Engelhardt takes the Girl’s Junior Mile! 

As I was heading up to the third flood in the TRACK at New Balance, just prior to the meet, I found myself on the elevator with a young woman, obviously getting ready to compete. I said hello, and she introduced herself as Sadie Englehardt. I wished her luck in the Mile.

Sadie is one of the high school athletes who have NIL deals with New Balance.

Sadie Engelhardt wins the Girls Junior Mile, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Sadie Englenhardt took the mile in 4:34.35, with Allie Zealand in 4:37.76 and Samantha Humphries in 4:39.11.

Understatement of the night, Sadie told Tiffany Offili that she was quite happy with this being her opening mile of the 2024 season!

 

The live TV Broadcast got off to a furious start with the Women’s 60m hurdles! 

Tia Jones, running a near-perfect race over 60m hurdles, ran 7.72, a meet record, World leader and PB! In second was Tobi Amusan, 2022 World Champ and 100m hurdle WR holder, running 7.75, her second Nigerian record of the season (7.77 opener in Astana). Devynne Charlton ran 7.76! Masai Russell was 4th in 7.84.

Tia Jones wins the 60m hurdles! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Tia Jones went pro after high school, and her hurdling is making a real statement in one of the most competitive events in sport, the sprint hurdles. Tia Jones put some serious hurdling in front of Tobi Amusan, who is normally pretty darn fast out of the blocks.

Tobi Amusan, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

The Women’s 3,000 meters, an exciting battle between Elle St. Pierre and Jess Hull! 

Then, the 3000 meters for women was held, and did that live up to the total hype.

First, you have Elle St. Pierre, in her first race back after having her child. When I asked Elle last night how she was doing, she noted that her training was going well, and she was hoping to qualify for Glasgow in the 3,000 meters.

Well, Elle did that and more.

Elle St. Pierre and Jess Hull, Australia, were neck and neck the entire race, hitting 2:49 behind the pacer, Izzy Thorton-Bott, and then, on their own, hitting 2k in 5:39.43.

Jessica Hull wins the 1,500m at Maurie Plant, photo by Maurie Plant Meeting

Then, it got surreal.

Elle St. Pierre and Jess Hull raced the last six laps, glued together, running the last 1,000m in just under 2:45!
St. Pierre battled back, as did Hull, but over the last 50 meters, Jess Hull saw some daylight, winning from 8:24.93 to 8:25.25! Melknat Wudu, Ethiopia, was third in 8:32.34.

Jess Hull moved back to Australia last year and is being coached by her Dad. Jess told us in an interview that her Dad thought she was in 8:25 shape, well, Jess, you Dad sure knows something! Pretty cool!

Elle St. Pierre wins the 3000m at the USATF Indoors, photo by Kevin Morris.

Elle St. Pierre was so happy that she had raced so well in her first race back! She had noted in an earlier presser on Saturday that he had a good couple of months of training under Coach and former Olympian Mark Coogan, and she was pretty confident.

The sprint, over the last two laps, was not decided until the final 50 meters, when Jess Hull moved in front of Elle St. Pierre for good, both running PBs, and with Jess Hull setting a new Australian record.

Jessica Hull battles Elle St. Pierre, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

See them both next week, February 11, at the Millrose Games in the Wanamaker Mile!

The Men’s 1,500 meters-Hobbs Kessler battles Jake Wightman

The NB Indoor GP has a very close relationship with the mile and the 1,500 meters.

Some of the finest middle-distance runners in the world have won in Boston, and now, Hobbs Kessler adds his name to the list.

Hobbs Kessler, only 20 years of age,  is the World Road Mile Champion. He is also one of the finest talents that America has seen in three decades in the mile/1,500 meters. Ronnie Warhurst, his coach, knows that. So do his teammates on the Very Nice Track Club (they also give him a bit of well-deserved razzing).

Hobbs Kessler wins a superb 1,500m battle with Jake Wightman, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Jake Wightman is the 2022 World Champion in the 1,500 meters. He was injured all of last year. Jake told the assembled media that he enjoyed much of the last summer’s break, he “hopes not to have such a break for several more years.”

Jake admitted that he was nervous prior to his first race.

Well, Hobbs Kessler ran like a man possessed, hitting 200m in 28.15, 400m in 56.21, and 800m in 1:54.18. Jake Wightman fought back, leading at 1200m in 2:53.38, but Hobbs fought back!

Using a newfound confidence, Hobbs ran the last 300m in 40.2, with a 26.70, followed by a 13.56 for that final 100m. Jake ran his last 100m in 13.14, the fastest finish of the race, but Hobbs had built up some serious real estate, winning in 3:33.66 PB and 3:34.06 PB!

A resurging Craig Engels ran 3:37.04, with Sam Prakel in 3:37.24 in 4th.

Jake Wightman, New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
Track & Field meet
February 4, 2024
Boston, MA USA, photo by Kevin Morris

Speaking to Jake Wightman post-race, Jake told me he thought that Hobbs might come back, but that did not happen. Jake is off to Australia now, running the Maurie Plant Meet-Melbourne on February 15, 2024, and another meeting as well.

Hobbs Kessler ran this race with a new maturity in his racing. I was able to congratulate Hobbs, smiling from ear to ear, post-race and congratulate his coach, Ronnie Warhurst, one of our sport’s finest coaches and Hobbs’ parents.

Hobbs will be at the USATF Indoor Champs on February 16-17, 2024, focused on making the 1,500m team for the World Indoor in Glasgow.

The Men’s 400 meters, Watch out for the veterans!

The Indoor 400 meters is one of the toughest events in our sport. Over the two laps, one has critical times to make their moves, and one must also be ready to be pushed, shoved, and tripped. It is like roller derby and professional wrestling!

Vernon Norwood is a real veteran, like a running pro for the past decade-plus!

 

Last night, I spoke with Vernon, and he told me that he was trying to gauge his fitness, and he wanted to run fast. And fast he did! Hitting the 200 meters in 21.46, Vernon hit the finish in 45.76. Zak Nene of South Africa was second in 46.15 PB, and Champion Allison, US, was third in 46.23.

Vernon Norwood is a classic 400-meter runner. He knows how to use his talents to position himself in the front to take advantage of his speed and endurance.

Let’s see what he does over the indoor season.

The Women’s 300 meters, it is the Gabby Thomas show! 

Gabby Thomas, the WC silver medalist at 200 meters and gold medalist in the 4x100m relay ran the 300 meters on her sponsor’s track this evening.

Gabby is one of the most positive athletes that I know, and she told the media on Saturday that she was fit and pretty confident of her training. This will be her ONLY indoor race of the season.

Gabby Thomas, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

 

Gabby told us, in response to me complimenting her on her third leg in the USA 4x100m relay, that she was surprised a bit when they gave her leg three on the 4×100 meters. Her leg was furious, and she put the US into the positive real estate world so that ShaCarri Richardson had some ground to protect.

In the women’s 300 meters, Gabby Thomas won in 35.75 WL, with Favour Offili, Nigeria, running 35.99 for second, and Lynda Irby-Jackson, 36.05!

Gabby Thomas, at the IAAF Diamond League on May 21st 2022, photo by Martin Bateman

The three hundred meters, which is a full lap of the track plus another 100 meters, is a brutal race. One must take the lead go out hard and not relent! Gabby did just that, and she won her fifth NB Indoor GP!

 

The Men’s 60-meter heats, some fast sprinting! 

In the 60-meter flat, Noah Lyles won heat 1 in 6.54. Ronnie Baker was second in 6.59, Hakim Sani Brown was third in 6.60, and Brandon Carnes was 4th in 6.65, all move on. Later, I noticed the Japanese film crew filming Hakim Sani Brown, a very popular athlete in Japan.

Noah Lyles, styling, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

In heat 2, Men’s 60 meters, Fred Kerley won in 6.57, his first run over 60 meters. In 2nd was Ackeem Blake, JAM, 6.58; in third was Kendal Williams, 6.63; and in fourth was Josephus Lyles, 6.67; all move on to the final, the penultimate event of the evening.

Fred Kerley runs his first 60 meters, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

 

The Women’s 400 meters

Kendell Ellis won the 400m in 52.77. Raevyn Rogers was 2nd in 53.00 PB, which is pretty awesome for an 800m specialist! Helena Ponette, BEL, was third in 53.45! Lisanne De Witte was 4th in 53.58.

Kendell Ellis battles Raeyvn Rogers over 400 meters, taking the win, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

On the pre-show on YouTube, Decathlete Dan O’Brien noted that he hoped Kendell would have a good start to her 2024 season, and she took the race!

The Women’s 100 meters

Mikiah Brisco takes the final in a crisp 60 meters, running an SB of 7.10. Celera Barnes took second in 7.15, her seasonal best. Destiny Smith-Barnett took 3rd in 7.16, and Zoe Hobbs, the new Aussie NR holder at the 100 meters, ran a second 7.16 in the meet, taking third.

Mikiah Brisco takes the 60m W final, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Zoe Hobbs did an interview for RBR and noted that her nationals were what surprised her and her coach. For Zoe to improve on the world stage, she needs more of this racing in the U.S. She has tremendous talent.

Mikiah Brisco knows that her best race needs to be the final, not in the heats.

 

The Men’s 60-meter hurdles, it is Grant Holloways’ world indoors, we just live in it….

So, you want to get Grant Holloway pumped up? Put him on a track with some fans, some hurdles, and 8 of his fellow competitors.

The truth is this, the top hurdlers in the world race each other, most of the time, week after week.

In the presser on Saturday night, Grant Holloway, Trey Cunningham, and Daniel Roberts had something to say. Great interviews!

In the first heat, Trey Cunningham broke the WL with his 7.44. In the second heat, Grant Holloway responded with his 7.37.

 

The new world leader had lasted just over five minutes, and then, the 90 minutes between the semis and the final!

Grant Holloway was on fire, getting an okay start and hurdling well, hurdle after hurdle, running 7.35, a new meet record and world leader. Afterwards,

Grant told me that with a better start, he could have run 7.32 or 7.33.

Trey Cunningham, Daniel Roberts, 2024 NBIndoorGP, photo by Kevin Morris

Trey Cunningham, the 2022 WC silver medalist, took second in 7.49, with Daniel Roberts, the WC 2023 bronze medalist, third in 7.49.

The thing is, the U.S. has some of the finest hurdlers in the world, but there are many countries that covet those medals.

Grant Holloway has not lost a 60-meter hurdle race since March 18, 2014, as noted on the NBC broadcast! Grant seems to like that pressure, perhaps thrive on it.

Grant Holloway, 2204 NB Indoor GP, photo by Kevin Morris

Grant is now off to Lieven, two rounds there, then Albuquerque, two rounds, and then to Glasgow!

In that light, Grant Holloway is always looking at ways to improve. He has begun to work with a new strength coach, Shawn Burke.

Grant Holloway is the king of his domain, 2019, 2022, 2023 World Outdoor Champs, look for his second World Indoor title! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Coach Mike Holloway, Grant’s main coach, was at the NB indoor, working with his star athlete. Grant knows that he has a bullseye on his back, but he wants a medal from each championship, and he has goals to make before he hangs up his spikes.

The hurdle wars will continue.

Grant Holloway is on their way to the office; time to hurdle! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

For the Men’s 1000 meters, Marco Arop does not have to sing “Oh, Canada”; he just has to run another NR! 

I finally met Marco Arop last night. What a mild-mannered and thoughtful athlete.

Marcel Arop won the gold in Budapest in one of the most unpredictable events in our sport, the Men’s 800 meters.

Marco Arop runs NR 2:14.74 in 1000m, winning by two seconds! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

In the 1000 meters in Boston, Marco was up against Bryce Hoppel, the 2021 World Indoor bronze medalist at the 800 meters.

Marco Arop led from the front, hitting the 200m in 26.39, with Bryce Hoppel right there in 26.71.

Marco Arop began to truly fly at 400 meters, hit in 52.84, with Bryce nearby in 53.47.

Marco Arop is the winner of the 1000m in a Canadian NR, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Marco Arop kept the pressure on at 600m in 1:19.60, with Bryce Hoppel now a second back in 1:20.91.

The tall Canadian truly broke the race open at 800m, running 1:46.69, with Bryce Hoppel at 1:49.08.

Marco Arop added one more Canadian NR to his resume, hitting the 1000m finish line in 2:14.74, with Bryce Hoppel running 2:16.91 for second and Sam Ellis in third in a PB of 2:17.10.

And so ends Marco’s winter season as he begins his long build to Paris. Bryce will be racing this winter, hoping to return to the World Indoor Championships, as he has some unfinished business there in Glasgow.

Marco Arop is one of the strongest athletes that I have ever seen. He channels his emotions into his racing and blew everyone away in the 1000 meters today. If he so desires, one thinks he could challenge David Rudisha’s WR, set from the front in London 2012 in the Olympic final.

 

The men’s 3000 meters it is the the Lamecha Girma show

Lamecha Girma has the World Indoor record at 3,000m in 7:23.81 (short track/indoors) and the World record at 3,000m steeplechase in 7:52.11.

Last summer, he battled Soufianne El Bakkali for the steeplechase World Champs and, for the third time, took the silver (2019, 2022, 2023). Bakkali is a master technician, and his 1,500-meter speed gave him the speed to bust a move over the last water pit, and Mr. Girma just had to watch.

In the Olympic Games, Girma took the Olympic silver.

Lamencha Girma, New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
Track & Field meet
February 4, 2024
Boston, MA USA, photo by Kevin Morris

Lamecha Garcia came here to impress, and he did. Girma hit the 1000m in 2:29.63, 2,000m in 4:58.44, and the final 1000m in 2:31, hitting the tape in 7:29.09, a meet record. Edwin Kurgat was second in 7:39.38, PB. Brian Fay of Ireland continues to impress, running a five-second PB in 7:40.09, and Ben Flanagan, one of the Very Nice TC team, ran a 7:40.19 PB. Ireland’s Andrew Corcoran ran a PB of 7:40.36. In sixth, Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, Canada, ran 7:43.12, a PB for the miler/1,500m specialist.

Lamencha Girma takes the 3000m in MR, WL, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

My guess is, for this season, Lamencha Girma is just getting warmed up.

Athletes at Girma and El Bakkali’s levels know that their battle royale comes once or twice a year. El Bakkali gave me an interview in Doha last year, noting that he was totally focused on the steeplechase gold. For Girma to have a chance at winning, he must do just the same.

His battle in Paris with Soufianne El Bakkali, over what will be a classic 3,000-meter steeplechase race, is fast approaching.

The Men’s 60-meter final, Noah Lyles is on his way to Paris! 

The battle was set in the heats.

In the first heat, Noah Lyles impressed, running 6.54, a good first round.

“This is My House!” Noah Lyles enters the TRACK at New Balance, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Fred Kerley, the 2022 World Champs gold medalist at the 100 meters, took first in heat 2 in 6.57. Kerley told us on Saturday night that he would give it his all in the 60 meters, and he loved the competition that Lyles spoke about in his presser.

The final was a lesson in execution.

Noah Lyles did not have the best start, but a good start. At 10 meters, Noah was 7th; at 20 meters, Noah was 6th, hitting 20m in 3.02; at 30 meters, hit 3.92; Noah was third; and Lyles hit 40 meters in 4.78, moving into second.

Noah Lyles takes the 60m in 6.44, with Ackeem Blake at 6.45, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

Ackeem Blake of Jamaica had moved into first by 30 meters, 3.88, staying in first at 40 meters, 4.77, and 50 meters, 5.63.

Noah Lyles was waaay behind. Running the 50m in 5.64 to Blake’s 5.63, Noah hit the 60m in 6.44 seconds, a PB, an MR, and the world leader.

Noah Lyles takes the 60m in 6.44! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Ackeem Blake his the 60m finish in 6.45, and Ronnie Baker hit the finish in 3rd in 6.54. Fred Kerley, in his first 60m final, was 6.54.

In speaking with Noah Lyles afterward, Noah talked about his confidence from his increased focus on strength and his excitement about how the acceleration felt.

Where is Noah Lyles right now?

Noah Lyles takes the 60 meters in 6.44, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

His dream of 4 gold medals (provided he gets a 4x400m relay leg ) could be possible. The 100m, 200m, and 4x100m are going to be incredibly challenging, but he can do it.

Speaking with former WR holder and Olympic gold medalist Dan O’Brien, who noted that the 60 meters was his highlight of the meet, we both continued to be impressed by how much fun Noah Lyles seems to be having in the three-ring circus that is the world of global sprinting.

What did this victory do for Noah Lyles?

Noah Lyles, 6.44, Ackeem Blake, 6.45, a classic 60 meters! photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Lyles loves the act of sprinting, but more than anything, he knows he has to work hard to achieve his goals. His acceleration from 7th at 10 meters to the win at 60 meters was carefully orchestrated. The strength work that Lyles has done has added ten pounds of muscle to his strong frame, giving his the ability to accelerate like few others.

The truth is, his start was okay, and Noah and his coach know that. But that can be corrected.

The road to Paris has begun, Noah Lyles knows it and thrives on it.

The style of Noah Lyles, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

As Noah went into his van, heading to get some food and crash, I noted, ” Noah, I have to write about you tonight. ” Noah just smiled, noting that he was so happy and excited about where he was on February 4, 2024.

Last night, Lyles had noted that he needed to see where he was so he could gauge what he should do this season. All those decisions are made with Coach Brauman.

No race next week. Coach Brauman told this writer that the next one is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the US Indoor championships. Then, Glasgow.

 

For the women’s 1,500 meters, what does Gudaf Tsegay run, the 1,500m, 5,000m, or 10,000m? 

Guday Tsegay ran the fastest indoor 1,500mm in North America with her 3:58.11 Meet record. Birke Haylomm finished second in 3:58.43, and Emily Mackay, US, was third in 4:05.04.

Gudaf Tsegay, the WR holder at 5,000m in 14:00.21, also has NRs at 800m of 1:57.52 indoors and 3:53.09 indoors.

At World Champs, Gudaf won bronze at the 1,500m in Doha 2019, silver at 1,500m in Eugene 2022, gold at the 5,000m in Eugene 2022, and gold at the 10,000m in 2023 Budapest.

Gudaf Tsegay wins the 1,500m, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

Gudaf also won a bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic 5,000 meters.

But it was her magic day in Eugene, Oregon, in September, when she almost went under 14 minutes for the 5,000 meters, taking the WR to a new place.

At the Saturday presser, Gudaf Tsegay, in a press event with Lamencha Girma, spoke English, and her five-minute interview was much appreciated.

Gudaf Tsegay on fire, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

When this writer asked the Ethiopian star, who smiled constantly during the interview, intently translating from Americ to English in her head, about how happy she was with her World Record. Gudaf noted that someone would probably break 14 minutes soon, but probably not this year, with the World Indoor Champs and Olympics.

One reporter queried Gudaf on what is her best distance, the 1,500m, the 5,000m or the 10,000m?

She smiled, noting she would hope to run the 1,500m in Glasgow and was not sure about Paris.

In the final event of the NB Indoor GP, Aurora Rynda and Kate Mitchell did the pace-making duties, with Kate Mitchell going 29.69 for the 200m, 61.85 for the 400m, and 1:33.86 for the 600m. Aurora Rynda of Canada led through the 800m in 2:06.07 before pulling off the track.

At that time, Gudaf Tsegay took the lead, hitting the 800m in 2:06.25 and the 1000m in 2:38.19 with Birke Harlem in tow.

Tsegay put on her race face and hit the 1,200m in 3:11.05, hitting the 1,400m in 3:42.51, and running a 14.80 to hit 3:58.11 a new Meet record. Birke Haylom hit the 1,500m finish in 3:58.43, with Emily Mackay in 3rd in 4:05.04, Addy Wiley in 4th in PB in 4:07.32, and Esther Guerrero, ESP, 4:07.67, with Dani Jones in 6th in 4:07.83.

Gudaf Tsegay embraces Birke Haylom as Addy Wiley finished 1,500m, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP.

 

Special thanks to Kevin Morris, our photographer, who flew up from the Orlando Olympic Trials late last night to cover NB Indoor GP. Special thanks to Sanda Nels Kurman, comms director, Global Athletics, and Michelle Sammett, World Athletics comms manager, for their kind assistance and support during the past few days. 

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