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To channel the great T.S. Elliot, this is the way the race ends, not with a whimper but with a bang. That is also how the race starts too, there was no whimper or noticeable fade in the women’s 1500m for Faith Kipyegon. The defending Rio Olympic gold medallist made a loud statement in Monaco on Friday.
The great Kenyan middle-distance athlete ran a world-leading, national record and of course personal best 1500m in the stunning time of 3:51.07. It wasn’t even close, as she destroyed the powerful Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan by over two seconds. Hassan clocked a 3:53.60 to take second.
Ethiopian, Freweyni Hailu, finished in third well back at 3:56.28. The threesome were the only athletes in the field to run under the four-minute benchmark.
Kipyegon’s performance was the fourth-fastest all-time behind Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who set the time on the same track back in 2015 at 3:50.07. Chinese athletes Qu Yunxia and Jiang Bo clocked times of 3:50.46 in 1993 and 3:50.98 in 1997, respectively. Kipyegon is currently the fastest 1500m athlete and the Olympics are just two weeks away.
Scottish middle-distance phenom, Laura Muir, demonstrated range with a stunning 800m performance Friday in Monaco at the Diamond League. It was the fastest European performance in 10 years.
It helped that the pacer ran the first lap in under 55 seconds. Muir patiently sat in the pack before launching her powerful kick during the final 250m. On the home straight she went wide and scorched several athletes that were in front of her.
Scottish Record ✅— Laura Muir (@lauramuiruns) July 9, 2021
Monaco DL 800m win ✅
Massive PB 1.56.73 ✅
Jemma smashed it ✅
SOOO HAPPY!!!! 😁🥳 @ Monaco https://t.co/WZSiiH0MvN
Muir ran a new personal best of 1:56.73, which is the fastest by a European since 2008. Training partner Jemma Reekie finished second with a new PB of 1:56.96. The two move to second and third respectively on the British all-time list. Dame Kelly Holmes continues to hold the record at 1:56.21 which was also set in Monaco back in 1995.
American Kate Grace clocked a 1:57.20 to take third place. Six ran sub-1:58, all nine finishers ran sub-1:59.
Ugandan Halimah Aayi set a new national record at 1:58.03 while finishing seventh. All but three ran new lifetime personal bests.
Nijel Amos of Botswana set the tone for the upcoming Olympics with some potential foreshadowing by running a world-leading 1:42.91. Emmanuel Korir of Kenya took second in the time of 1:43.04 with a season’s best. Not far off Brandon McBride’s Canadian record was Marco Arop with a third-place finish in the time of 1:43.26. The record, set in three years ago in Monaco is 1:43.20.
Eight of 11 athletics ran sub-1:45.
Amos still owns the world U20 and Botswanian record at 1:41.73, which he set back in 2012 in London where he earned a silver medal in the Olympics. He is a 17-time Diamond League winner, 16 in the 800m and once in the 4 x 400m.
Korir has run as fast as 1:42.05 back in 2018. The 26-year-old is a former national champion and six-time Diamond League winner.
The 22-year Arop seems to be coming into his own in 2021. Overshadowed by McBride, he is now emerging as an all-time top Canadian. He is a Panamerican Games Champion and finished seventh during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships in the time of 1:45.78.
Full results from Monaco are available here>>