Elliot Giles breaks British record with second-fastest indoor 800m in history

Rick Pearson
·2-min read
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images

From Runner's World

Elliot Giles has broken the British 800m record while running the second-fastest indoor time in history.

His time of 1 min 43.63 seconds, which he ran on Wednesday (February 17) at the World Indoor Tour in Torun, Poland, beat the record held by Sebastian Coe, which had stood since 1983. Coe ran 1:44.91.

Only Kenya’s Wilson Kipketer, who ran 1:42.67 in 1997, has run faster than Giles indoors.

‘I’m still trying to process what even happened,’ said the 26-year-old. ‘It really does feel like a blur. I can’t believe I just ran 1:43 indoors. I’m so overwhelmed by it all.’

Coe said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ for Giles, adding, ‘I’m slowly being expunged from history, which is a good thing: it shows we’re making progress.’

However, some commentators have been quick to point out the role shoe technology is playing in the breaking of such records.

Giles was wearing what appeared to be the Nike Air Zoom Victory spikes, which contain a carbon plate and hyper-responsive foam, and have been described by Nike as ‘a complete paradigm shift in distance track spike design’.

It’s worth noting, however, that second-placed Jamie Webb, running without the benefit of the latest shoe technology, also finished inside Coe’s old record. Webb ran 1:44.54.

Coe said he was ‘pretty calm’ about the impact these super-shoes are having on athletics, choosing instead to praise the calibre of the current crop of British middle-distance runners.

‘We really do have an exciting crop of 800m runners coming through,’ he said. ‘There was a real dearth of talent but this shows that Britain has got a crop of really exciting middle-distance runners again.’

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