Josh Kerr inspired by former Edinburgh club-mate to take Scottish indoor mile record in New York
Josh Kerr captured Chris O’Hare’s Scottish indoor mile record in New York and then insisted his former Edinburgh club-mate had inspired him to make it big in America.
The Olympic bronze medallist clocked 3:52.27 to come second to Ollie Hoare in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games – falling just 25-hundredths of a second short in his crack at Peter Elliot’s 32-year-old UK best.
But watching O’Hare, three times a European medallist, move Stateside and win the Wanamaker twice before he retired earlier this month blazed a trail for all British middle-distance hopefuls, Kerr admitted.
“The big thing Chris said he wanted to do was go and try and be the best in the US and take that to a world stage.
“He admitted to himself that he made a lot of mistakes along the way. But I don't know another athlete that has helped British athletes as much as he has with sharing his mistakes and making sure that no one else makes those, especially with a UK-US transition.
“When he came over here, it was very frowned upon by British Athletics to come out to the US. And I think that's changed with more success coming from people going to US universities. He pioneered that move in being able to go over here and still have success in the UK.”
The 24-year-old missed out on topping Jake Wightman’s Scottish indoor 1500 metres mark en route but now sits second to Elliot in the all-time UK indoor mile rankings. But his rivalry with Hoare, who set an Australian record of 3:50.83, looks set to run and run.
Kerr said: “Me and Ollie had a conversation the day after the Olympics and said: ‘we better race together otherwise we’re going to get soft racing all these Americans.’ I love to poke fun there.
“But we’re two of the best 1500m runners based out of the USA right now and we’re looking to be the best in the world. So to push each other all the way in any race is going to be good. He got the better of me today and I know I’ll get the better of him sometimes. It’s about going out and being aggressive and running fast times.”
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