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Mo Farah & Phillips Idowu shine at Birmingham Grand Prix

Double-European champion Mo Farah

Farah breaks record in stunning victory

Britain's Mo Farah and Phillips Idowu thrilled the NIA crowd with stunning wins at the Grand Prix in Birmingham.

Farah edged out training partner Galen Rupp to smash the old British indoor 5,000m record and set a new European time in 13 minutes 10.60 seconds.

World champion Idowu, in his first competition of the year, leapt 17.57m on his last jump to beat old rival Christian Olsson in the triple jump.

GB's 800m runner Jenny Meadows was another impressive victor on Saturday.

It was a mixed day of emotions with many of the GB athletes pushing for places at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in March.

Injuries to sprinters Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Mark Lewis-Francis, as well as pole vaulter Steve Lewis, marred the opening three hours, before Idowu, Farah and Meadows ended the day in sparkling fashion.

The action in the triple jump was a dazzling affair as World and European triple jump champion Idowu showed fine form early in the season as the 32-year-old edged out his Swedish nemesis Olsson.

Jenny Meadows
Meadows secures her fourth title in Birmingham in fine style

Londoner Idowu, now based in Birmingham, admitted he would treat the meeting as a "glorified training session", but he produced the fireworks when it mattered as he and 31-year-old Olsson traded blows.

After out-leaping his rival in his fourth jump, Idowu produced a huge 17.57m to leave the 2004 Olympic champion in second spot with a best of 17.20m.

Idowu, who has opted not to go to Paris, told BBC Sport: "My mind was clear. I'm happy with it and I just wanted to come here and test out my technique. It worked!

"It took five rounds but that's a great way to win. I'm a great showman. It's good to know I'm in that kind of shape that early on in the season."

Once again, the beaming smile of Farah lit up the Birmingham arena two years after breaking the British indoor 3,000m record in the same event.

A day after announcing he was parting company with coach Alan Storey and heading for the United States to prepare for the London Olympics, the Somalia-born star had his eyes on another record and he did not disappoint.

Farah looked to be struggling three laps from home, but alongside American Rupp, who he will be training with in Oregon, the 27-year-old soon powered to victory and show he is in fine shape to defend his indoor 3,000m crown in Paris.

"The aim was to come here and run good and get ready for the Euro indoors which is not too far away, so I'm delighted with that," Farah said.

"It was awesome. I had a big help from [Rupp]. I'm now looking forward to Paris and sharpening up a bit."

There was also another British win in the women's 800m for Wigan's Meadows, who brushed aside her miserable showing in the 400m at the UK Championships in Sheffield last weekend, with a winning time of 1:59.22.

Felix Sanchez wins the men's 400m hurdles

Sanchez stumbles to 400m hurdles win

After pipping American Morgan Uceny by 0.75s, the world indoor silver medallist said: "I'm so glad to win the race but I'm a little disappointed in the time.

"I would have liked sub-1:59 but it's quite difficult when you're out on your own."

Meadows was only fifth in the trials in Sheffield in a race won by former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton.

Sotherton will have to settle for running the 4x400m relay in Paris after missing out on the individual qualifying time.

One Brit who did produce the goods in the 400m was Nigel Levine, who lowered his personal best by more than half a second to win in 46.17s - the fourth fastest in the world this year.

There were also personal bests in the 1,500m for Colin McCourt, Andrew Baddeley and Nick McCormick as they finished way behind Kenyan winner Augustine Choge.

GB's 37-year-old Helen Clitheroe wiped more than 11 seconds off her personal best in finishing fourth in the 3,000m in 8:39.81 - the quickest time in Europe this year - although still nine seconds behind Ethiopian victor Sentayehu Ejigu.

Commonwealth and European outdoor champion Andy Turner could only make third in the 60m hurdles in a race won by American Aries Merrit in an impressive 7.49s.

The NIA crowd also enjoyed a lively race in the UK's first ever 400m indoor hurdles competition.

Felix Sanchez, Olympic champion in 2004, stumbled over some of the barriers and almost fell across the line to beat American Reuben McCoy by two hundredths of a second, with Britain's Richard Yates in third.

Phillips Idowu

Idowu leaps to Birmingham victory

London 2012 - begin your journey here

see also
Injuries hit Brits in Birmingham
19 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Idowu out to make up for Beijing
18 Feb 11 |  London 2012
Lewis-Francis eyes healthy 2011
11 Jan 11 |  Athletics
Farah changes coach for Olympics
18 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Sotherton wanted Ennis challenge
17 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Ennis out of Birmingham meeting
16 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Williams' coach defends decision
14 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Chambers wins fourth indoor title
12 Feb 11 |  Athletics
2012 Olympics schedule revealed
15 Feb 11 |  London 2012

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