King’s Lynn athlete Barbara Parker smashes British steeplechase record

Norfolk's Barbara Parker claimed she was not surprised to run a new British record of 9mins 24.24secs to finish fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase at the weekend's Diamond League meeting in Oregon.

The City of Norwich AC runner, who is currently based in the USA, eclipsed Helen Clitheroe's four-year-old mark of 9m 29.14s set at the Beijing Olympics, by taking around 10 seconds off her previous best.

She said: 'I am honoured to have regained the British record from Helen Clitheroe. She is one of my heroes so and I know she is happy to see it go.

'I am not surprised by the time. I should have run sub 9:30 last year, so I am just skipping that time period and going for the teens.

'I have great confidence in my fitness and truly believe in the training my coach (Sean Burris) sets 100pc.

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'So to put it all together in a race is a great feeling. I can move forward now, knowing that running near the front is much better for me. I have good speed so there is no reason to hold back at the beginning.'

The meeting also saw Mo Farah run the fastest 5,000 metres in the world this year in his first major race of the Olympic summer.

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The world champion won the Prefontaine Classic ahead of a strong field, crossing the line in 12 minutes 56.98 seconds, the second fastest he has ever run over the distance and less than four seconds off his British record .

It left Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele trailing in his wake – the Olympic champion and world record holder for the 5,000 and 10,000m finishing fourth.

'I take a lot from this race,' said Farah, who has now won his opening four races of the season.

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