Scot Andrew Butchart wins Vitality London 10,000m to maintain Rio bid

Andrew Butchart
Butchart beat Andy Vernon, one of his rivals for a 5,000m place in Rio, in the London race

Scot Andrew Butchart maintained his superb form in a quest for an Olympics spot with Great Britain by winning the Vitality London 10,000m race on Monday.

The 24-year-old set a personal best of 28 minutes 28 seconds in the event that acts as the British 10km Championships.

Butchart comfortably beat defending champion Andy Vernon (29:04) and Ben Connor, who was third in 29:23.

Lily Partridge won the women's race, while David Weir and Shelly Woods won the men's and women's wheelchair races.

Partridge ran a new personal best of 33:03 to beat Rachel Felton (33:35) into second, while Hannah Walker was third.

Weir completed a successful couple of days by racing to victory in 21:06, a day after becoming the first wheelchair racer to complete a mile in under three minutes.

Woods was the first woman home in 27:47.

'I knew I could run fast' - Butchart

Butchart broke Nat Muir's 36-year-old 5,000m Scottish national record at the FBK Games in Holland last week, his time of 13:13.30 giving him a second qualifying standard to take to the Olympic trials in Birmingham next month.

Butchart, a member of the Central Athletic Club in Stirling, must finish in the top two at the British Athletics Championships from 24-26 June to guarantee his place in Rio, with defending champion Mo Farah already pre-selected for one of Britain's three 5,000m places.

"It would mean everything to me [to secure an Olympic place]," he said. "I sat down with my coach last summer and we thought 'we can potentially get in the team if everything goes to plan'.

"It just so happens that things are going in that direction. But there are lots of guys that have run the standard so it is going to be who is on form on the day."

Nevertheless, Butchart - who took more than a minute off his previous best 10km time of 29:32.43 - admits he is the form of his life four weeks out from the trials.

"I would like them to come tomorrow," he admitted. "A lot of little things are adding up to make a big difference.

"I knew I could run fast, it was just a matter of getting it done. I am really fit, I am doing sessions a lot faster than I anticipated beforehand and today again I exceeded my expectations so I am really happy."

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