One of New Zealand's epic moments in athletics could be erased from the record books at Christchurch's international track meet later this month.
Dick Tayler holds the national allcomers 10,000m record, set at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games. The manner of his victory, over a top field that included English world record holder David Bedford and a trio of first-class Kenyans, has lingered as long as his record.
Tayler battled back from 50 metres off a relentless pace, then ran down another Englishman in David Black over the last 300m for a 27 minutes 46.4 seconds win.
Thirty-seven years on, the time is still the fourth fastest by any New Zealander, and stood as the Commonwealth Games record until the 2002 in Manchester.
American distance runner Galen Rupp, coached by legendary marathoner Alberto Salazar, was today confirmed as a starter over 10,000m at the Christchurch meeting on February 26 at Queen Elizabeth 2 Park
Rupp, who has a career best 10,000m of 27min 10.74sec set in May last year, could shatter Tayler's record if conditions and competition are right.
The 24-year-old was 11th over 10,000m at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, following that up with a 13th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and eighth at the 2009 Berlin world championships.
Christchurch event director Craig Motley said top competition for Rupp was expected from leading New Zealand and Australian distance runners preparing for the world cross-country championships in Spain four weeks later.
Motley said Rupp was a "truly world class" runner, and the late scheduling of the race on Saturday evening would provide the best possible chance of the cool, calm conditions needed for fast times.
Runners will also be looking at bettering qualifying standards for next year's world athletics championships, with the A standard set at 27min 40sec, and the B standard at 28min flat.
source: newshub archive