Florence — Kenyan Faith Kipyegon broke the women’s 1,500 meters world record at the Wanda Diamond League’s Golden Gala meeting in Florence, Italy on Friday.
The 29-year-old world and Olympic champion refreshed Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba’s record of three minutes and 50.07 seconds set in Monaco in 2015 by clocking 3:49.11, becoming the first female athlete to break through the 3:50 mark in the 1,500 meters category.
Kipyegon was paced through the first 400 meters in 1:02.37 and after the pacemaker seceded the pack, the Kenyan speeded up to finish the last 600 meters at unprecedented speed.
“I said yesterday that I wanted to run a beautiful race, run my race, and see what is possible, and this was possible,” Kipyegon said, adding “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.”
British Laura Muir finished second in 3:57.09, and third-placed Australian Jessica Hull clocked 3:57.29 to set an Australian and Oceania record.
Also on Friday, world champion Feng Bin of China was overtaken by Olympic champion, American Valarie Allman in the fifth throw of the women’s discus throw. Allman threw a 65.96m to outperform Feng’s 65.91m to top the discipline.
“Today was all about competing,” Allman said. “The rain messed with my timing and my technique, I was not able to throw properly, but in the end I managed.”