Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
LONDON CALLING: Bishop shakes up the road to London
1:00pm Friday 4th May 2012 in Wiltshire Sport
DAVE Bishop will arrive back in the country today after sending a shockwave across the British middle distance running scene.
The 24-year-old from Chippenham, a former Hardenhuish School student, made a major breakthrough in California on Sunday as he clocked a stunning personal best of 3mins 37.51secs in the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational meeting at Stanford University.
The time carved 3.28secs off his previous best of 3:40.79 that he set only the previous weekend and means that Bishop, of Willowbank, has now taken almost four seconds off his time for the metric mile in a year.
More significantly, his time is also inside the Olympic B standard of 3:38.0, puts him second in the UK rankings behind Andy Baddeley, who clocked 3:35.19 in the same race, and with a nod to the Commonwealth Games in two years, was the quickest time by a Scot for almost 20 years and the fifth fastest of all time.
“I really thought I was in shape for something fast from about October time, but got a little unlucky indoors with illnesses seeming to pop up right around the races,” said Bishop.
“I was really knocking down some decent training though and (the week before) I ran a 1:52 last 800m to set a new PB which cemented it in my mind that I was ready.
“Obviously very pleased I showed what I was capable of, but it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I have considered myself capable of running this sort of time for a while now.
“As far back as 2009 I ran 2:53 for a 1200m and in 2011 I ran 3:54 for 1600m in relays which are both fairly comparable to a 3:40 or slightly quicker. It is just nice to finally get that raw time.”
Over the winter Bishop returned to Albuquerque, where he graduated from the University of New Mexico last year, having been offered a part-time coaching job.
Both he and coach James Thie feel there is more to come and that the Olympic Games A qualifying mark of 3:35.50 is within reach before the trials next month.
Bishop said: “I have briefly spoken to James and he agrees with me that there are a few more seconds still to come as the race wasn’t a perfect one.
“I ran slightly uneven splits and got caught up in the pack a lot – my shins are a mess. Hopefully I can knock 2.01 seconds off, that would be perfect!
“At the moment I am still planning to race the 3000m (at the UKA test meeting in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday), depending on how I feel I recover from all the travel.
“There were some people out in California this weekend who wanted me in a fast race here in a couple of weeks but I think I’m going to stick to my original seasonal plan and come back home now. It gives me enough time to get some sea level training in and it seems to be working so far.”
Britain will be sending a team to the European Championships in Helsinki, less than a month before the Olympics and the likes of Bishop will be in contention for that as well if he falls short of the ultimate goal.