Heading into the Golden Gala meeting in Florence, Faith Kipyegon said the world 1500m record was in her heart and on her mind. By the end of the race on Friday (2), it was also in her legs and on the clock – which she stopped in an astonishing 3:49.11*.
The world and Olympic champion delivered a thrilling finale to the third leg of the Wanda Diamond League with a bravura performance in a city that last saw a world record in 1981, when World Athletics President Sebastian Coe broke the 800m mark.
The pacemakers had been asked to take the field through in 3:54 pace, which seemed ambitious on a damp track after early rain. But that pace merely left Kipyegon full of running when she took the lead in the penultimate lap, as she blazed through the final 600m at unprecedented speed.
Her feet barely seemed to touch the track as she flew home in incomparable style to take down the eight-year-old standard of 3:50.07, set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in Monaco in 2015.
Having won Olympic and world titles twice, the 29-year-old Kenyan was determined to claim the last great 1500m prize available with the world record.
“I said yesterday that I wanted to run a beautiful race, run my race, and see what is possible, and this was possible,” she said.
“There’s still more to come. I’m still working on running faster than that, faster than 3:49. I’m really thankful today that I managed to run 3:49 and I’m still heading towards beautiful races in the rest of the season.”
Credit: World Athletics