Beamish Shatters NZ 5000m Record And Secures Olympic Entry Standard
George Beamish began his 2024 campaign in style be smashing the New Zealand 5000m record* and dipping below the Olympic Entry Standard mark by recording a stunning 13:04.33 for fourth at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University today.
The 27-year-old US-based Kiwi, who last season set a New Zealand steeplechase record of 8:13.26 and finished fifth over the barriers at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, comfortably lowered the previous national 5000m record mark of 13:10.19 set in 2008 by Adrian Blincoe.
The performance ensures Beamish has a second Olympic entry standard mark for the 2024 Paris Olympics after the Havelock North-raised athlete achieved the feat in the steeplechase during a stellar 2023.
The race win was secured by Kenyan Edwin Kurgat in a rapid 12:57.52 ahead of British athlete George Mills (12:58.68). US mile record-holder Yared Nuguse, training partner to Beamish, finished third in 13:02.09 with Beamish securing fourth in a race where five-men dipped below the Olympic entry standard.
Beamish, who received a post-race congratulatory message from Blincoe the previous New Zealand 5000m record holder, said: “I’ve had a few swings at it (the 5000m record) and come up short a few times and it has been and frustrating, but it feels good to put a decent one on the board.”
“It is classic Boston Uni situation. The race was set up with a couple of pacemakers to run fast because everyone is trying to get that Olympic standard (which stands at 13:05.00). I had six team-mates in my training in Boulder running. I was paced through 3k but then George Mills and a couple of others made a big move with a mile to go. I got separated into that chase pack, but I ran a nice last 1km and last lap to sneak under the standard. I would have loved to have run 12 minutes something because no New Zealander has ever done so, and I’d love to get under that barrier at some point, but I’m still happy enough.
“The main goal is to run the steeplechase in Paris, but it is nice to have a plan B.”
Beamish next plans to compete in the two miles at the Millrose Games on Monday February 12 (NZ time).
On a memorable night for New Zealand 5000m running, Kiwi Theo Quax finished second in 13:16.83 another 5000m race at the John Thomas Terrier Classic. Running for Northern Arizona University, the son of 1976 Olympic 5000m silver medallist Dick Quax scalped more than 12 seconds from his previous PB to climb to sixth on the all-time NZ lists. Dick, a former New Zealand 5000m record-holder, sits third on the all-time NZ lists with his best of 13:12.86.
*Subject to ratification