Sarah holds new Olympic stadium record

Sarah McCormack receives her gold medal in the Olympic Stadium
Sarah McCormack receives her gold medal in the Olympic Stadium

Moorfoot runner Sarah McCormack produced arguably the best finish of the British Universities Championships to claim the women’s 10,000m in London’s new Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

The Peebles athlete’s winning time of 34 minutes and 31 seconds was a superb 45-second improvement on her previous 10km best on the road and when the Olympic Games start in just over two months, the Lancaster University student will be the stadium record holder.

After a steady first 5,000m in 17.50, Jess Coulson, coached by the renowned Mick Woods pushed the pace to break the leading group and had built up a 30m lead with eight of the 25 laps of the track remaining.

But Sarah, now clear in second, was lapping consistently and gradually reeled in the leader.

The 25-year-old latched on again with four laps remaining with the pair toe-to-toe over the closing laps.

Sarah then unleashed a devastating kick to sprint 60m clear over the last 200m, clocking 16.41 for the second half of the race, only two seconds off her 5,000m personal best time.

Meanwhile, Berwick’s Guy Learmonth won well in the men’s 800m to add to his indoor British Universities title.

Peebles’ Faye Nicholson (Edinburgh Uni), in her first competition back from injury, was below her best, but was very pleased with her return and to make the long jump final in what were very cold conditions.

As she expected, Scout Adkin, also of Peebles and representing Robert Gordon’s University, was outpaced in her 5,000m heat, but ran well for 13th, while Galashiels’ Callum Murray (Stirling Uni) was seventh in his 200m heat.