Craig Mottram, AUS
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|Credits: Athletics Weekly, UK Athletics, www.sporting-heroes.net|
In his teens, Craig was an Australian junior triathlon, but in late 1998, due to his studies at Geelong Grammar, he found he didn't have time to train for the three disciplines and decide to link up with local running coach Bruce Scriven.
Within months he had become the fastest Australian junior 3000m runner when in February 1999, her broke the National U20 record with a time of 8:02.77. The next month he placed 18th in the World Junior Cross Country Championships and closed the season with a second placing in the National U20 1500m. He performed well in a top class 5000m State League race in late 1999.
Craig celebrated his 20th birthday by setting an Olympic A Qualifier and PB (13:26.20) for the 5000m in Manchester in June 2000 and backed up with a 1500m PB in Zagreb in early July. Craig contested a heated 1500m with Nick Howarth at the Telstra Olympic Trials resulting in Howarth being disqualified. A re-run of the trial event was conducted one week later with Mottram finishing 10th in 3:54.50. Following Shaun Creighton's decision to concentrate on the 10000m, Craig was selected to represent Australia in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympics where he finished 8th in his heat.
He compiled a spectacular series of performances in the summer of 2001. The summer started with a 3000m PB (7:50.34) at the Telstra Athletics Grand Prix in Newcastle. On February 16 he broke Shaun Creighton's Australian 3000m record in a time of 7:41.35. He was just beaten by 3:47 miler, William Chirchir in the John Landy mile at the Melbourne Track Classic, clocking 3:54.65 to move to No. 5 in Australian history in his first ever mile race. A week later he won his heat of the 3000m at the World Indoors in Lisbon. In the final he placed 8th, lowering the Australian record for the second time in three days. On March 24, Craig placed an outstanding 8th in the short course (4km) at the World Cross-Country Championships. Craig prepared well for the 2001 World Championships running a 3:53.06 mile and 13:23.94 5000m during June. Due to his tremendous 1500m/mile form, it was decided to switch Craig from the 5000m to the 1500m for the World Championships, where he made the semi finals after a tremendous 3:39.10 in the heats. Craig placed 6th in the Goodwill Games mile and 6th in the 1500m at the IAAF Grand Prix Final in Melbourne, in an awesome 3:35.40, moving him to No 5 in Australian history. In December 2001, Craig made his 10,000m debut, taking the Zatopek race in a Commonwealth Games B qualifying time of 28:19.26.
On March 7th before he left for the 2002 World Cross Country Championships, he removed 11 seconds from his 5000m best to take the Australian record from Lee Troop. At the World Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Craig placed an outstanding 5th - the 2nd best ever result by an Australian.
Selected in the 5000m for the Commonwealth Games, his 6th National team in just 18 months. Ran well in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games running a mile pb and an Australian 3000m record. At the games placed 6th in the 5000m.
Competing at the 9th IAAF World Cup in Madrid, Craig dominated the 3000m to set a new World Cup Record (7:41.37) and won by over six seconds.
World Cup 2002
Craig did not compete domestically in 2003, suffering from an ITB problem. Started to resume competition in mid-2003 with sensational results. Clocked an Athens Olympic A qualifier over 5000m on September 10 with a time of 13:17.81, then won Zatopek in December clocking an Olympic B in the his second ever race a the distance.
Craig was 9th, and first non-African in the Senior men's 4km race at the World Cross Country in Brussels.
On Thursday (6th
May) night's Men's mile race, which was held at the meeting staged to
celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bannister's ground-breaking first sub-four
minute mile, Craig Mottram, the tall Australian aiming for the 5,000 metres at
the Olympic Games in Athens, was an easy winner in a track record of 3:56.64 on the same Iffley Road track in Oxford - now a modern all-weather surface
compared to the cinders in 1954.
Crystal Palace: Craig doesn't quite manage to hold off Gebrselassie
Athens Olympics 2004
London Grand Prix, Crystal Palace