James Preston Smashes 62-year-old NZ 800m Record

Published: Sun 26 May 2024 01:30 PM
James Preston. Credit: (Alisha Lovrich)
James Preston created history earlier today by erasing the 62-year-old national 800m record of Sir Peter Snell, recording a stunning 1:44.04 in Pfungstadt, Germany to achieve the Olympic entry standard mark for Paris.
In an outstanding display of middle-distance running, the 27-year-old Wellington-based athlete claimed a dominant victory from fellow Kiwi Brad Mathas – wiping 0.83 from his previous PB set at the 2024 Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Wellington in March.
Preston’s mark set at the Merck Running Gala was also comfortably below the Olympic entry standard of 1:44.70.
Sir Peter Snell’s mark had been the longest standing New Zealand athletics record in the books. His 1:44.3 was set on a grass track in Christchurch back in 1962 for what was a then world record mark.
Preston is currently enjoying the best season of his career and he can look forward to some fantastic new competitive opportunities following this performance.
On a memorable day for New Zealand 800m running, Mathas clocked 1;45.80 – within 0.05 of his lifetime best to claim second.

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