News & Updates

4 March 2024 • High Performance

Beamish launches fearsome kick to strike 1500m gold in Glasgow

George Beamish capped the greatest performance in history by a New Zealand team at a World Athletics Indoor Championships by striking 1500m gold in Glasgow. (Credit: Getty Images).

George Beamish set the seal on a dazzling performance by the New Zealand team at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow by racing to a stunning gold medal success in the men’s 1500m courtesy of a devastating final lap kick.

The 27-year-old US-based athlete sat seventh at the bell before unleashing his winning burst to time his effort to perfection and overhaul American duo Cole Hocker and Hobbs Kessler to become the first New Zealand track champion at a World Indoors, recording an indoor PB of 3:36.54.

His podium finish ensured a best ever performance by a New Zealand team at a World Athletics Indoor Championships as they ended the three-day event with two gold (Beamish and high jumper Hamish Kerr) and two silver medals (shot putter Tom Walsh and pole vaulter Eliza McCartney) – the team finishing a remarkable third in the overall medal table.

The versatile Beamish, who finished fifth in the 2023 World Championships steeplechase final and earlier this year set a national 5000m record, approached Glasgow in great form and possessing stunning late finishing speed has the weapons to threaten a podium position.

Content to run two thirds of the way down the pack for much of the race, Kenyan Vincent Kibet Keter hit 800m in the lead in 1:57.13 with Beamish back in tenth. The Kiwi then gradually improved his position and was placed seventh with just 200m remaining.

With a wall of bodies in front, the Kiwi put on the after burners and glided past several athletes down the back straight of the final lap. Digging deeper off the final bend he launched his winning move on the outside to pass the US duo to claim a middle-distance title of the ages for New Zealand and cap one of the finest major championship performances by a Kiwi team in living memory.

Beamish finished 0.15 in front of Hocker in silver with Kessler, the world road mile champion in bronze in 3:36.72.

An ecstatic Beamish said: “It has taken a bit to sink in. I can’t believe it. I’m in total shock.

“To run mid-pack was the plan from Ritz (Dathan Ritzenhein, Beamish’s coach) as we kind of decided being at the back of the field was too far back to kick from. I was behind the American Cole Hocker and I felt like he was one of the favourites, so I just stuck behind him and find myself feeling good with a couple of laps to go.

“At the bell I thought there was a chance of a medal, any medal and I didn’t care what colour. It was not until 15-20 metres to go did I think that any medal was going to turn into gold. It was a blanket finish and I thought, if I get a medal, it might as well be first.”

On his goals for the rest of the year he said: “I’m mostly focused on enjoying this one and we’ll look to the rest of the season in the coming weeks. I imagine it doesn’t change much. It’s just an incredible result for the indoor season. I’m really proud to have brought home a gold medal for New Zealand.”

Maia Ramsden, the final Kiwi athlete to take to the track at the Emirates Arena, finished tenth in the women’s 1500m, clocking a time of 4:06.88. The 21-year-old US-based athlete acquitted

herself fantastically well to navigate a route to the final on her Black Singlet debut. In the heats, the NCAA 1500m champion set a national indoor record of 4:06.51 and will be delighted to have backed that up in the final.

Content to sit at the back of the 12-strong field for much of the race she sensibly picked off a couple of positions in the final 300m to earn an excellent top ten finish.

Gold went to Freweyni Hailu of Ethiopia in 4:01.46 ahead of the US duo Nikki Hiltz (4:02.32) and Emily Mackay (4:02.69), who claimed the minor medals.

Ramsden said: “I’m so happy with the experience this whole week has been an absolute dream and I think if you had asked me a month ago would this of all happened, I would have said no. Being here with the most successful team ever (New Zealand team at a World Indoors) is so cool, because for me to be to able to see the level with which everyone is achieving I see a pathway. I’m super happy with the result and so happy to make the final. But I definitely want success more because I see what is possible.”

Athletics NZ Team Leader Kat Austin said: “The performance of the New Zealand team right across the board in Glasgow has been fantastic and we are immensely proud of how they have acquitted themselves on the global stage. We can go into the rest of the year full of optimism but acknowledge all the athletes still face a lot of hard work on the road to Paris.”


Overall results of the New Zealand team in Glasgow

Gold – Hamish Kerr 2.36m NR and WL – Men’s high jump

Gold – George Beamish 3:36.54 – Men’s 1500m

Silver – Tom Walsh 22.07m – Men’s shot

Silver – Eliza McCartney 4.80m – Women’s pole vault

4th – Maddie Wesche 19.62m PB- Women’s shot

4th – Zoe Hobbs 7.06 Oceania record – Women’s 60m (also set an Oceania record of 7.09 in the semifinals)

5th – Jacko Gill 21.69m – Men’s shot

10th – Maia Ramsden – 4:06.88 – Women’s 1500m (set a NZ indoor record of 4:06.51 in the heats)

17th – James Preston – Exited the heats of the men’s 800m but set a national indoor record of 1:47.59

21st – Tiaan Whelpton – Exited the heats of the men’s 60m in a season best time of 6.67.


Medal table go here

***For the full event timetable and results go here