Sports

Regina's Bairu breaks Canadian 10K track mark

Regina's Simon Bairu broke the Canadian record in the 10,000 metres on Saturday at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational held at Stanford University.

Alex Gardiner, Canada's head track and field coach, thought this record would last longer.

Regina native Simon Bairu obviously disagreed.

The 26-year-old broke the Canadian 10,000-metre record on Saturday at the Payton Jordan Cardinal International in Palo Alto, Calif.

Jeff Schiebler set the record nine years ago at the same track meet in a time of 27 minutes 36.01. Bairu finished the Saturday race almost 13 seconds faster in a time of 27:23.63.

"This is not one of our traditional distances," Gardiner told CBC Sports on Sunday. "We are more of a sprinting and throwing country."

Schiebler competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics for Canada.

"To knock off Jeff's record — it's a tremendous result," Gardiner said.

Now representing the Oregon Track Club, Bairu went to the University of Wisconsin on a scholarship and was named the Big Ten cross-country athlete of the year in 2004.

He also won the NCAA national cross-country championship in 2004 and 2005.

"I think he made the right decision for his own future," Gardiner said of Bairu going to the United States to train. "Simon's been really well-managed and has managed himself well."

Gardiner is excited about the Bairu's future with the Canadian team.

"We expect to see him right through to London," the coach said, referring to the 2012 Olympics. "Though we're not sure which event he'll be challenging in yet."