Sebastian Coe 'excited' after Elliot Giles breaks GB 800m record in super spikes

  • Giles clocks 1min 43.63sec, second-fastest time in history
  • Coe had held the British indoor 800m record since 1982

Sebastian Coe has insisted he was delighted to see Britain’s Elliot Giles shatter his British indoor 800m record in a performance so astonishing it reignited the debate over the new wave of super spikes.

Giles’s time of 1min 43.63sec in Torun, Poland on Wednesday, was so fast it not only shattered Coe’s previous British indoor record, set in 1982, by more than a second, but was the second-fastest time in history. Only the three-times world champion Wilson Kipketer, with a time of 1min 42.67sec in 1997, has gone faster indoors.

“I’m still trying to process what even just happened,” said Giles. “It really does feel like a blur. I can’t believe I just ran 1:43 indoors. I’m so overwhelmed by it all.

What made the 26-year-old from Birmingham’s performance even more remarkable is that he has never reached an Olympic or world championship final and is best known for winning a bronze at the European Championships in 2016.

But wearing what appeared to be the Nike Air Zoom Victory, which the shoe company has hailed as a “complete paradigm shift in distance track spike design”, Giles continued his impressive run of victories this winter.

The result was not in doubt after Giles repelled the challenge of his fellow Briton Jamie Webb on the final lap. Webb plugged on well, despite not having the benefit of the latest technology, to finish in 1:44:54 – inside Coe’s old mark but well behind his rival.

Some in the sport believe the new spikes are unfair on athletes who wear rival brands and that the record books will be ripped up beyond recognition due to technology. However, Coe, who has been the president of World Athletics since 2015, said:

Sebastian Coe: “There was a real dearth of talent but this shows that Britain has got a crop of really exciting middle distance runners again.”
Sebastian Coe: “There was a real dearth of talent but this shows that Britain has got a crop of really exciting middle distance runners again.” Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

“I’m slowly being expunged from history which is a good thing,. It shows that we’re making progress and I’m absolutely delighted for Elliot. That was a great run.

“We really do have an exciting crop of 800m runners coming through. There was a real dearth of talent but this shows that Britain has got a crop of really exciting middle distance runners again.”

Coewho still holds the British outdoor 800m and 1,000m record, said he was “pretty calm” about the game-changing spikes despite Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey breaking the men’s 10,000m and the women’s 5,000m records within an hour of each other in October wearing Nike ZoomX Dragonfly shoes.

Mo Farah and Sifan Hassan also broke the men’s and women’s one-hour records using super-fast Nike shoes in the autumn.


Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Sebastian Coe shrugs off concerns that Nike track spikes give unfair advantage
The World Athletics president has warned against stifling innovation as concerns have been raised over the slew of recent world records

Sean Ingle

03, Jan, 2021 @10:00 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe alarmed by ‘human trafficking’ revelations in athletics
Sebastian Coe says he is deeply concerned by revelations about African runners being bought by richer nations and exploited, urging the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit to investigate the issue as soon as possible

Sean Ingle

04, Aug, 2017 @4:53 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe indicates IAAF will challenge female testosterone ruling
The IAAF president said it was ‘a sensitive subject, they are athletes, they are daughters, they are sisters’

Guardian sport

11, Aug, 2016 @12:30 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe accused of misleading inquiry into Russian doping
The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, has been accused in a new report by a select committee of wilful ignorance over doping in Russian athletics

Martha Kelner

05, Mar, 2018 @12:01 AM

Article image
Sebastian Coe: ‘Athletics needs to be innovative, braver and more creative’
For the Guardian’s Sport 2.0 series, Sebastian Coe discusses the future challenges facing athletics from tackling doping to Usain Bolt’s retirement

Guardian sport

13, Jun, 2017 @1:09 PM

Article image
Tokyo Olympics could be delayed due to coronavirus, admits Sebastian Coe
The World Athletics president has admitted ‘nobody is saying we will be going to the Games come what may’ as the debate over whether the Tokyo Olympics should be staged this summer continues to intensify

Sean Ingle

19, Mar, 2020 @1:00 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe: IAAF right to seek court ruling over hyperandrogenism issue
IAAF president Sebastian Coe insists to create a level playing field in women’s sport the issue of hyperandrogenism must be dealt with by the court of arbitration for sport

Sean Ingle at the London Stadium

12, Aug, 2017 @9:00 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe says Fancy Bears leak damages IAAF fight against cheats
Sebastian Coe, the president of the IAAF, has said in the aftermath of the Fancy Bears leak that there can be no excuse for the leaking of personal and medical data

Sean Ingle

06, Jul, 2017 @10:09 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe ally Nick Davies sacked for lying over secret payments
Lord Coe’s closest confidant, Nick Davies, has been sacked from his job at athletics’ governing body after lying to investigators about receiving secret payments totalling €30,000 from the disgraced former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack

Sean Ingle

31, Jan, 2017 @8:36 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe: IAAF reforms are about standing tall for the clean athletes
Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, has urged the 214 member federations to back his revolution to perform the equivalent of a hard reset on a calamitous few years for athletics

Sean Ingle

01, Dec, 2016 @9:02 PM