What a night!
The women’s 1,500m and the men’s 5000 really excited the sport of athletics. Check this one out! We will be adding more photos to the piece this pm!
Two distance races to please the World Athletics president
The evening began with a presentation to World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, to mark the 40th anniversary of his 800 meters world record run in Florence – 1 minute 41.73 seconds on June 10, 1981. The record was to stand for 16 years.
The highlights of the evening were two distance races. Days after her world record 10,000m run on Sunday – already an ex-world record – Sifan Hassan won the 1500m in a WL 3:53.63. Faith Kipyegon, reigning Olympic Champion, set a new Kenyan record of 3:53.91 but was only second! Kipyegon beat her own national record of 3:54.22, set at the 2019 Doha World Championships – and yes, she was second to Hassan on that occasion too!
It was a brilliant race with Hassan taking the lead when the pacemakers dropped with Kipyegon on her shoulder and Laura Muir also in the breakaway three. As Hassan made the long run for home it seemed as if Kipyegon was bound to overtake her but Hassan hung on to win:
Hassan commented: “I did not prepare for the speed, I’ve been training more for the 10K. I thought that Faith Kipyeon was going to win. At 800m we were so fast, but I tried to do my best. I got the MR, but for me, it is not so much about the MR. I am surprised about the time, even more than about my time, for the WR at the 10K. It was not my plan to run so fast, I had hoped to run under 4 minutes”.
It genuinely looks as if Hassan is surprised at how good she is.
The other epic race was the men’s 5000m. Remember when the Diamond League administration decided that 5000m was too long and boring and scrapped it? In Florence Joshua Cheptegei looked the man to beat. He led through 4000m in a group of four. Jakob Ingebrigsten led a chasing pack but he was too far behind to be a realistic contender. Then Cheptegei started to struggle. Jakob was closing the gap. Suddenly it appeared that Jakob was not off the pace but judging the pace to perfection. He was in the mix and on the home straight, made his move to run under 13 minutes for the first time and break the European record, finishing in 12:48.45.
The thrill of a race hard fought! Jakob Ingebrigtsen just defeated Hagos Gebrehewit, (who got him last year at 5000m), in ER / PB of 12:48.45 in a superb race! 10 June 2021, photo by Diamond League AG
The Norwegian commented: “Today it was like winning a gold medal. It is pretty crazy. I was expecting a PB because it has been two years since my last PB. I was most likely to run under 13 minutes, but this European record is incredible. Now I have to able to win a [Olympic] medal, too. If I am able to win against the best runners, then I can also win at the Olympics. I am always excited to race. I did not expect this time and this record. But I know from my training that I am able to run that fast, to do it. But it is something different to know something and to do something”.
And he is still only 20!