A world record beyond belief
There have been many great World and European Indoor Championship races, but the most glorious one of them all must surely be the victory by Wilson Kipketer in 1997. Unbelievably he smashed Paul Ereng's world record (1:44.84, set at the 1989 World Indoor Championships) in his heat by nearly a second, coming home in 1:43.96. But Wilson was far from finished, he had saved his best run for the final. With a scorching run he outclassed the other competitors and left them so far behind that they had hardly reached the final straight when he was already crossing the finishing line!
His incredible performance is perhaps best illustrated by the story of Rich Kenah who in utter disbelief told his family over the phone: "I've got good and bad news. The bad news is: I finished more than three seconds behind the winner. The good news is: I've still got a medal!".
The result of that amazing race was yet another world record: 1:42.67, an improvement on his heat time by a stunning 1.29 seconds. It's a time many had thought impossible on an indoor track with its much tighter bends. No one has since run close to that time. In fact there are not even that many runners who have run such a time on an outdoor track. This fantastic World Indoor Record may well stand for a long, long time.