Grant Fisher Races The Big Boys in France and Comes Up Short

“I looked at the schedule and said, where do the best guys go?”

February 15, 2023

In 2022, Grant Fisher ran faster than any American ever at 3,000m (7:28.48), 5,000m (12:46.96), and 10,000m (26:33.84).

So when he looked to start his 2023 campaign, he aimed very big.

“I looked at the schedule and said, where do the best guys go? And in the 3k they come here (Liévin, France). So, early in the fall, I decided I wanted to come here and race,” Fisher said tonight after running the men’s 3000m at the Liévin World Indoor Tour Gold Meet.

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Fisher got one thing right. The best guys in the world go to Liévin. Tonight in Liévin, Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma ran 7:23.81 to break Daniel Komen’s 25-year-old world record. However, Fisher wasn’t ready to run with Girma. After running directly behind Girma for 1800 meters, Fisher faded off the pace once Girma took over from the pacers and ratcheted down the tempo. In the end, Fisher had to settle for finishing 5th in 7:35.82 in his 2023 debut.

Grant Fisher right behind Girma early in the race (photo (c) Grant Fisher right behind Girma and ahead of Katir early in the race (photo (c)

“Tough race for me. It turned out I was a little more of a spectator today than a racer. Tried to get after it and be in the race and raced the best guys in the world, and [I] was on it for halfway and then I just died a long and slow, painful death,” Fisher said.

“We were targeting this, so a bit of a disappointing result, honestly. But, that’s part of racing,” he added.

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What did Fisher think of Girma and Mohamed Katir who also broke the old world record. “I was trying not to look in front and just focus on my own race. I saw it [the world record time] after and was like, ‘that’s the reason I felt like shit,’ he said of the fast pace.

Fisher Has One More Race in Europe This Winter

Fisher’s 2022 European campaign was magical and started with a 7:28.48 American record at 3,000, was followed up with a 12:46.96 American record at 5,000m, and ended with a third place finish in the Diamond League final.

“At the end of last year, I came over here and raced a few times in Europe and really enjoyed it and thought it really advanced like my ability to race the best guys,” Fisher said. While his 2023 European season had a much different start, he gets another chance to race at 1,500m next week in Madrid where conceivably American Yared Nuguse could take a shot at the world indoor record of 3:30.60.

The ultimate goal for every runner in the world this year is in Europe, the World Athletics Championships August 19-27 in Budapest, which are still more than six months away.

“That’s the big goal of the year. We got a long, long time until then, so, many months to go. So hopefully you can just build and build and be at the best then,” Fisher said.

Fisher after his race in France

More: Lamecha Girma (7:23.81) Breaks Daniel Komen’s 3000m World Indoor Record and Wins Duel with Mohamed Katir
*Grant Fisher American record podcast

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