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February 4, 2017

We don’t talk about the brilliance of Laura Muir enough

Laura Muir ran 8:26.41 and won Saturday’s 3,000 meter indoor race in Karlsruhe for a new European record.

Only world record holder Genzebe Dibaba (8:16.60) and fellow Ethiopians Meseret Defar (8:23.72), Meselech Melkamu (8:23.74) and Sentayehu Ejigu (8:25.27) have run faster in history.

With the record, she erases the European title from Liliya Shobukhova, one of the main Russian athletes in their widespread doping scandal.

This all comes after a 2016 campaign where she set the British 1,500 meter record of 3:55.22 at the London Diamond League following the Olympics. The time is definitely within reach of some of those controversial Chinese times from the 90s and Dibaba has been the only person to come within and surpass those times.

Even before London, Muir has shown some bravado through an aggressive front-racing style, mixing it up with the Kenyan likes of Faith Kipyegon and today with Hellen Obiri. She didn’t have the best finish in Rio as she tried to hang with the East Africans and it ended up costing her in the final 200 meters of the 1,500 meter final. She took seventh in 4:12.88.

We’ve already been having the conversation about the sports’ stars after Usain Bolt retires at this year’s world championships in London. Mo Farah has some time left on the track before transitioning to the roads but the one of the future stars for British Athletics and track as a whole looks to be a University of Glasgow veterinary medicine student.

The thing about that performance in London last summer is that the American track audience may have paid more attention to the 100 meter hurdle world record by Keni Harrison that took place just minutes later. In a weekend filled with cross country action in Bend, Ore. and fast times coming out of North Carolina, Boulder and New York City this weekend, people might forget about Muir again. But we shouldn’t and she’ll likely give us another reminder soon.

(Side note: Just a few minutes before her race, Scotland defeated Ireland in a close rugby match. A great day for the Scots.)

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