Kerr takes a giant leap in the 1500m

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  • Kerr takes a giant leap in the 1500m

His tenacity and power brought him gold in the 1500m at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna in 2015 and now Josh Kerr really has joined the world-class brigade.

Still only 19, the Great Britain middle-distance runner took his career to a new level at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, USA, on Friday when he smashed his personal best by over five seconds to win in 3:35.99, a world-leading time.

It was a stunning performance by a man who could return to defend his European junior title in Grosseto in July or might opt for the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz.

Whatever of those events he chooses, he will now have his eye on the IAAF World Championships in London the following month, determined to make an impact.

The NCAA indoor champion beat Americans Craig Engels (3:37.75) and Ryan Hill (3:37.95) to break 3:40 for the first time and take what had been steady progress over the last two years, bringing his personal best down from 3:44.12 in 2015 to 3:41.08 last summer, to a level where he can attempt to mix it with the best in the sport.

Dafne Schippers was true to her word by running world leads in both the 100m and 200m at the same meeting.

It is a huge year for the Dutchwoman who is determined to successfully defend her world 200m crown in London in August and has said she wants to run faster than ever, with an aim of breaking her 100m personal best of 10.81.

In Azusa, Schippers showed brilliant early season form by winning the 100m in 10.95, where she beat Americans Tianna Bartoletta, the Olympic long jump champion, who ran 11.08 and Destiny Smith-Barnett (11.21).

And in the 200m, Schippers won in 22.29 from Desiree Henry (22.69), with the Briton also winning the other 100m in 11.09.

Henry’s teammate Adam Gemili, the 2014 European 200m champion, ran a good 10.08 in the 100m to beat Japan´s Hakim Sani Brown (10.18) and the Netherlands’ European champion Churandy Martina (10.20).

Staying in the USA, in Clermont, there was strong winds at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational, which meant a great deal of fast sprinting.

Britain’s newly-crowned European 60m hurdles champion Andy Pozzi ran 13.13 (+5.8) for the 110m hurdles while his 100m compatriots Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (9.90) and Ojie Edoborun (9.93) had a +4.4 reading in their races and Danny Talbot had +2.9 as he won the 200m in 19.86.

Solomon Bockarie won the other 200m in 20.21 (+3.6) while Dutch teammate Naomi Sedney won the 100m final in 11.01 (+4.6).

Back in Europe, Hungary’s world under-20 hammer champion Bence Halasz was really impressive at home in Szombathely where he broke his personal best, taking the 73.97m he reached at this venue last June to 74.82m this time.

There are 44 events across Europe this week. For full information, go to

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