It’s been a landmark day for Kyle Langford after the Watford athlete raced against one of the world’s biggest stars of track and field and broke a long-standing UK record in the process.
The 18-year-old Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier competed in the rarely run 600m at the prestigious Diamond League meet in Birmingham, taking on reigning 800m Olympic and World champion David Rudisha.
The Kenyan star was expected to win, and he duly did, finishing in a world lead time of 1.13.71, but Langford impressed against more senior competitors and crossed the line in seventh in 1.16.30.
Significantly, that time set a new Under-20 UK record for the distance, bettering Andrew Lil’s 1.16.79 set back in 1990.
Langford, who had looked in good shape for an 800m medal at the World Junior Championships last month until illness ruined his hopes in the final, was also the first British athlete home in the race, beating Commonwealth Games 800m finalist Guy Learmonth.