Matthew Centrowitz notched his first win over Mo Farah on Thursday night, then looked ahead to an American record attempt this summer.
Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m champion in 108 years, ran away from his training partner Farah in the final 200 meters of a 1500m heat at the USA Track and Field Distance Classic in Los Angeles.
Centrowitz clocked 3 minutes, 33.41 seconds, his best time since July 2015, in his first 1500m since Rio. Farah crossed in second in 3:34.19 in the opener for the final outdoor track season before he converts to marathon running.
“I just asked [Farah before the race] if you’re going for the win, or are you going for a fast time,” Centrowitz told media afterward. “He said, I’m going for a fast time. That’s all I needed to hear. I was like, I’m just going to sit on him.”
Farah, who swept the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016, still owns a faster 1500m personal best than Centrowitz — 3:28.81 to 3:30.40. Farah beat Centrowitz in their two previous head-to-heads, both 1500m, in 2013 and 2015.
Centrowitz has stated his eyes are on the American record in the 1500m — 3:29.30 held by Bernard Lagat. Centrowitz currently ranks third behind Lagat and 1980s runner Sydney Maree (3:29.77).
The U.S. record in the mile is a bit more ambitious, given nobody has come within three and a half seconds of Alan Webb‘s 3:46.91 since he set it in 2007.
“I’m probably focused and eyeing more the 15 because we have more opportunities at it,” Centrowitz said Thursday, according to the Orange County Register, which added that he specifically listed a Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 21. “I think that 3:46, there’s a reason no one’s run faster in the last 10 years. It’s a hard time to beat and, there’s not really many opportunities.”
Centrowitz headlines the field for the Bowerman Mile at next weekend’s Pre Classic, which will air live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.
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