This Week In Athletics – January 6th

Hello and welcome to a new series for this blog called ‘This Week In Athletics’ where I discuss some of the news stories for the week just gone.  We are only days into 2017 but there has already been some big news.  This first edition concerns a couple of surprise retirements and an indoor British record.


brianne theisen eaton                    ashton-eaton


It came as a bit of a surprise at first but Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton both announced their retirement on the 4th January which saw them win multiple Olympic and world medals.  Ashton of course also retires as the current record holder and may well hold it for quite some time to come.

While a bit surprised as neither are that old, both have already achieved a lot and if both feel that they haven’t got any further level to get to or goals to aim for then it is probably the right decision.  Ashton finishes his career as a double Olympic Champion, a double world champion, a triple world indoor champion and world record holder for both the decathlon as well as the indoor heptathlon.  He retires as the greatest ever male multi-eventer with no real obvious to go for with the possible exception of trying to win 3 Olympic golds but to go another 4 years just for that is tough.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton finishes her career as the reigning World Indoor pentathlon champion as well as possessing two world championship silver medals and a bronze medal from the Rio Olympics.  In a way her decision surprised me more as the opportunity to be a world champion was greater after Jessica Ennis-Hill’s retirement but it seems not having the required motivation and being happy with what she achieved led to her decision.

One thing is for sure which is we are entering new eras for both male and female multi-eventers especially on the women’s side with the emergence of Nafi Thiam, Akela Jones and Katarina Johnson-Thompson all set to challenge for the next several years while there is a huge opportunity for the men for someone to take over.



laura muir

In her first race of 2017 Laura Muir broke a 25 year old British record when she ran an indoor 5000 metre race (effectively a solo time trial) in 14:49:12 surpassing the lime of Liz McColgan’s previous mark set in 1992.  An event not run very often so all-time lists aren’t necessarily the best barometer (although the current world record was set by Genzebe Dibaba a couple of years ago) but it puts her 9th on the all-time global lists and was less than 2 seconds off the European record.  In terms of the all-time British list only 3 have ever run quicker outdoors which are Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey and Zola Budd which is very good company indeed.  It’s just another sign of her rapid improvement over the last couple of years which includes an 800 metre PB of 2:00:42, an incredible 1500 metre PB of 3:55:22 and a 3000 metre PB of 8:38:47 (which one would think could be improved upon even further).  An old coach one described her as having the endurance of Paula Radcliffe and the speed of Kelly Holmes and you can see that is starting to look very true indeed!  Can she can keep the momentum going to August though?!



With it being VERY early into the new year there aren’t too many results and performances to analyse but Christophe Lemaitre finds himself the very early world leader after running 6.58 to replace Dwain Chambers (now 38!) 6.64.  Still early days but interestingly it’s also only 22 days until the first leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour which starts with New Balance Indoor GP in Boston.

So that was this week in Athletics! The Great Edinburgh International XCountry is taking place January 7th which will see Mo Farah (sorry now Sir Mo Farah!) race against Garett Heath after the American’s impressive win last year.  I will also be keeping an eye out for the England Athletics Senior and U20 Combined Events Indoor Champs and Walks which is happening in Sheffield over the coming weekend (remember the name of Sam Talbot by the way) and then not long after the year really gets going again!


Thank you for taking the time to check this out and you can follow me on twitter using the link at the bottom of the page.  Until next time!





  1. boypathos · January 6

    May I applaud you on your efforts and I hope this is the first of a number of weekly entries as we build to London 2017 …

    I thought the general response to Ms. Muir’s efforts were rather muted ,,, it was a truly remarkable run, given it was her first outing too, and we really have an athlete of world class emerging… I do hope, though, she is very measured with her programme for the year, and look forward to her being a serious challenge for the podium this summer.

    I also hope to see KJT emerge from the pack and fulfil her talent. I have watched athletics for over 40 years and she has the potential to be join the legends … I wish her well.

    I just want to name check a couple of British athletes … I have high hopes for Desirèe Henry. Yes Dasher has the plaudits to date, but I think Ms. Henry has the potential to re write the UK 200m record … talking of the 200 I remember watching Reece Prescod for the first time, it was indoors, and I dont think he even won his race … but if he can stay injury free, and have the right support team, he could go very far.


  2. Athletics Appetizer · January 6


    Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to check this post out. I hope this can be a weekly series but we shall see as the year goes on!

    I think because of the rarity of indoor 5000 metre races it perhaps didn’t get people as excited but it was a tremendous run considering she ran the last 2km solo. I hope she can start getting the medals her times and performances deserve. I’m intrigued by her possible 1500/3000 double for the Euro Indoors.

    KJT’s potential is clear for everyone to see (7000+ seems realistically possible). Along with Thiam, Jones, Kendal Williams, Visser (maybe Lake eventually as well) it could be a very exciting crop after the Jessica Ennis-Hill era.

    Interesting take on Desiree on the 200 bearing in mind her World Youth win a few years back, I certainly think she can lower Dina’s current 100 record (would be exciting if they could both lower it still). Prescod is an interesting one and he seems to have started well this year with his 6.67. One to look out for, some tough competition at the moment though, especially in the 200.


  3. boypathos · January 8

    by chance Athletics Weekly have run a feature on Reece Prescod, I only hope he stays injury free and avoids an hyperbola with ‘Bolt’ comparisons as they are far from helpful… He does have talent though.


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