Well, this writer did believe that Beatrice Chepkoech could run very fast, but, I was thinking 8:50 or so. Beatrice Chepkoech took eight seconds off the World record, running 8:44.32!
ðŸš¨ WORLD RECORD ðŸš¨
— IAAF Diamond League (@Diamond_League) July 20, 2018
The pace was strong from the first steps, as Caroline Tuigong hit the 1000 meter mark at 2:55.23. Beatrice Chepkoech, who has the world leader in 2018, with 8:59.36. Celliphine Chespol, who ran 8:58.78 in 2017, was l running next to Chepkoech, but, alas, hit a barrier, and ended up drifting back, to 10th place in 9:12.05.
Chepkoech recently won the silver medal at 1,500 meters in the Commonwealth. That speed has helped Chepkoech as the field was tremendous, and runners were flying. Chepkoech hit 2000 meters in 5:49.81, another 2:55 kilometer! Of that, keen observer Jonathan Gault noted:
Jesus Christ, 5:49 for Beatrice Chepkoech at 2k. She will CRUSH the WR if she can hang on.
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) July 20, 2018
Beatrice Chepkoech ran the last three laps by herself, reminding this writer of the late great Australian distance runner, Ron Clarke, who established the European Meet series with his fine runs in the 1960s, as Chepkoech took eight entire seconds off the 3000 meter steeplechase WR, running 8:44.32.
The former record was 8:52.78, set by Ruth Jebet in 2016. Ruth Jebet was just announced by the Athletic Integrity Unit as having failed drug tests, remarkedly, as was previous record holder. Gulnara Galkina. Obviously, some were already attacking Chepkoech, such is the level of cynicism by some. Truth is, Beatrice Chepkoech is a wildly talented athlete. Last year, in the stress of the World Championships, Beatrice missed a barrier and had to go back to cover the barrier, ending her medal run in London. Her races this year have been of a much higher level.
For Beatrice Chepkoech, this world record in her event was the first time a Kenyan athlete held the World record in this event that is a Kenyan tradition.
After her race, Beatrice had this to say:
“I wanted to break the World record, that was the plan from beginning of the season. And I was aware the biggest chance will be in Monaco due to weather, crowds and the whole environment. And this plan worked well. I knew I m running fast splits, but I was not worried, I felt strong during the race. I was thinking maybe I can break 8.50 but not at all was I dreaming about 8.44. And this time still could be improved Im sure. Maybe my next target could be to run under 8.40. It is great feeling I brought back to Kenya the steeple women record, Im very proud of it. And that after six years of running and three years with steeple.”
The race was impressive behind Beatrice Chepkoech. London silver medalist Courtney Frerichs ran a new AR of 9:00.85, taking second. Hyvin Kyeng, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, ran 9:04.41 and Emma Coburn, London gold medalist, was fifth in 9:05.06, her seasonal best.
Here’s the video on the race: