Faith Kipyegon breaks women’s 1500m world record as Laura Muir finishes second in Florence… but Dina Asher-Smith withdraws from 100m after suffering cramps in boulders
- Faith Kipyegon set a world record in the women’s 1,500 meters in 3:49.11
- She shaved off almost a whole second of Genzebe Dibaba’s previous best
- Scottish star Laura Muir achieved the best of the season by finishing second on Friday night
Laura Muir saw the silver lining come second to Faith Kipyegon in the women’s 1500 meters final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
And the Scottish star was only able to toast her arch-rival once again in Florence on Friday night as the Kenyan snatched more than a second off the world record with a pretty incredible closing flurry.
Muir, 30, was carrying on gallantly when the bell rang at the Diamond League meeting, but Kipyegon had something special hidden up his sleeve.
The mother-of-one cushion grew and grew, and the runway-side neon lights that charted history suddenly fell adrift from her heels.
And she sprinted decisively down the home straight to clock 3 minutes 49.11 seconds and erase Genzebe Dibaba’s existing mark.
Faith Kipyegon set a new 1500m world record at the Florence Diamond League meeting
Scottish star Laura Muir clocked a season best 3:57.09 finishing second on Friday night
“I’ve done three world record races now,” Muir pointed out. “I was there in 2015 when Genzebe Dibaba broke it, then inside when Gudaf Tsegay took it. I seem to be the world record lucky charm. I’m so happy for Faith. It was up to her to get it. She did everything else. She’s the best there’s ever been. It was his turn.
Muir, in his summer opener, held on to second in 3:57.09. It was the European champion’s first outing since her split from longtime coach Andy Young, a positive restart ahead of a 5000m in Paris next Friday.
“I know I’m in good shape and I wanted to go out there and try,” she said. “But I’m not quite in shape in 3:49 in my first race of the season. But it’s a good starting point.
All Dina Asher-Smith could offer last night was tears, but not a sprint. The British sprint star was pinned down with cramp ahead of the women’s 100m, her calf seizing up and her mind sagging as she was forced to retire as her rivals lined up.
Instead, Marie Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast took the win in 10.97 seconds with Asher-Smith’s national foe Imani Lansiquot third in 11.16.
Infuriating, annoying, other emotions not suitable for the print. A simple blip, says the British record holder, as she prepares to win back her 200m world title later this summer in Budapest.
“I’m really frustrated because I feel really good,” Asher-Smith, 27, said. “I’m just not going to take the risk. It’s annoying because I have a little cramp fix in my bag and I didn’t get it today. It’s at the hotel. I was weighing it in my head but I thought if I’m not good it’s not worth it.
“All eyes are on August. The cramps are fine but if you run into them they are dangerous and I don’t do that in June. I pushed back on coming out and I felt it. But I’m in a really good place, that’s why it’s boring. I’m going fast and I honestly expected to run well. But I’m going to Paris to do the 200 next week and back.
With its governing body staring down the barrel of bankruptcy, it simply cannot afford to lose the shine brought by its handful of A-Listers with the 2024 Paris Olympics just 14 months away.
£1.8million in losses for UK Athletics last year led to job losses and the closure of its Birmingham headquarters. Own goals came thick and fast.
Sprint star Dina Asher-Smith was pinned down with cramp ahead of the women’s 100m
Next month’s UK Championships will take place at the warm Trafford Arena rather than the redeveloped Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, as it is understood UKA bosses have failed to secure a date in time to avoid the hub of the Commonwealth Games is reserved for rugby league.
But Asher-Smith says the country’s Olympic hopefuls cannot be distracted by the gloom of the track.
“It may be selfish, but for my own performance, I focus on me,” she said. “But exciting things are happening. I think it will. The London Diamond League will be amazing.
Elsewhere, world champion Fred Kerley of the United States took the win in the men’s 100m in 9.94 seconds.