One year after winning the world 5000m title in Eugene, Gudaf Tsegay returned to the Hayward Field venue to smash the world record for the distance on the second day of the Diamond League finals.
With 14:00.21 the 26-year-old from Ethiopia improved Faith Kipyegon’s mark of 14:05.20 which was set in Paris earlier this summer.
She came agonisingly close to becoming the first woman to break the 14-minute barrier for 5000m, but she was hardly disappointed as she celebrated and embraced her fellow competitors.
These included runner-up Beatrice Chebet of Kenya, who was almost inside the old world record herself with 14:05.92.
Racing just after midday at this Pre Classic event, Sinclaire Johnson led through 1000m in 2:48.08 before another pacemaker, Elise Cranny, went through 2000m in 5:37.24. Birke Haylom then passed 3000m in the lead in 8:26.03 with Tsegay bouncing along close behind.
Knocking out 67-second laps like a metronome, Tsegay hit 4000m in 11:16.89 and as she wound it up she began to pull away from Chebet before entering the final lap, at which stage it was clear the world record was going to fall but the big question was whether the winning time would be inside 14 minutes.
Tsegay has taken the event to a new level. When the women’s 5000m was in its infancy as an official world record attempt, Mary Decker ran a world record of 15:08.26 in 1982 in Eugene. Two years later Ingrid Kristiansen became the first woman to break 15 minutes with 14:58.89 in Oslo.
Tsegay, who also holds the world indoor 1500m record with 3:53.09, has now run faster than the legendary Paavo Nurmi and only three seconds slower than the iconic Emil Zatopek.
“My focus today was the world record,” she said, before adding on the prospect of breaking 14 minutes next year, “Yes, I try.”
There was no world record in the men’s 3000m but Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Yomif Kejelcha enjoyed an epic duel with the Norwegian winning by one hundredth of a second in a European record of 7:23.63.
The target had been Daniel Komen’s long-standing world record of 7:20.67 but the pace drifted away at the halfway mark and it turned into a genuine race as opposed to a time trial with a number of athletes queuing up behind Ingebrigtsen at the bell.
Ingebrigtsen was racing just 24 hours after setting a European mile record of 3:43.73 and here he led down the back straight as Kejelcha moved past fellow Ethiopian Telahun Bekele and into second place on Ingebrigtsen’s shoulder.
Into the home straight Ingebrigtsen held a slender lead and kicked from the front as Kejelcha strained with effort to draw level.
With 50 metres to go Ingebrigtsen turned his head to his right and the danger was there. The Ethiopian, who holds the world indoor mile record, had greater momentum in the closing metres but came agonisingly short as Ingebrigtsen tumbled over the finish line, although it was so close the decision wasn’t known for a few moments.
Like the mile the previous day, the event had amazing depth with Grant Fisher third in a North American record of 7:25.47, Bekele was fourth in 7:25.48, Selemon Barega fifth in 7:26.28, Berihu Aregawi fifth in 7:28.38 and Luis Grijalva also breaking 7:30 with 7:29.43 but finishing only seventh.
Mu wins big 800m showdown
The women’s 800m was a re-match of last month’s world final in Budapest but it ended up being more of an action replay of the 2022 world final on the same Eugene track.
Last year Athing Mu beat Keely Hodgkinson in a thrilling battle and a similar struggle unfolded here as Mu edged past Hodgkinson in the home straight to win in a world lead and American record of 1:54.97 as Hodgkinson improved her British record from 1:55.77 to 1:55.19.
In third, Natoya Goule ran a Jamaican record of 1:55.96 with world champion Mary Moraa of Kenya fading in the final 120 metres and finishing fourth in 1:57.42.
With everyone ignoring pacemaker Kaylin Whitney through 400m in 55.9, Hodgkinson led the contenders through the bell in 57 seconds with Mu on her shoulder. Moraa was forced to run wide for much of the second lap and ran out of steam around the final bend, but Mu, who took bronze in Budapest, was in control as she powered past Hodgkinson.
“I felt really new and refreshed,” said Mu. “I wasn’t even hoping for the American record, I was just hoping for a PR, but I knew I could do something fast if I could just relax and compete.”
Hodgkinson said: “I’m actually really proud of myself. I’m happy with a national record and a huge PB, so it’s a really good way to end the season. It’s a different result every time we run, so it’s good to be a part of it. There’s not really much pressure today, so I just wanted to commit.”
Earlier in the programme the men’s 800m was no less exciting as Emmanuel Wanyonyi of Kenya clawed his way past world champion and long-time leader Marco Arop of Canada in the closing metres to win in 1:42.80.
It was a world leading mark and meeting record as runner-up Arop ran a PB of 1:42.85, third-placed Djamel Sedjati of Algeria set a PB of 1:43.06 and Dan Rowden of Britain was fourth in 1:44.21.
Pole vault world record for Duplantis
As if the second day of the Diamond League final wasn’t spectacular enough, Mondo Duplantis gave the meeting its second world record with a 6.23m clearance in the pole vault.
With the competition wrapped up with a 6.02m jump, Duplantis enjoyed a first-time clearance at 6.23m before celebrating wildly in what is clearly one of his favourite venues.
It is little over a year, after all, since he set a world record of 6.21m to win the world title here, although he subsequently improved the mark to 6.22m indoors in France in February.
“The limit is very high and I hope that I can continue to jump well and keep jumping higher than I did today,” said Duplantis, “but for now I’m not really thinking about anything except enjoying this moment and enjoying what I just did.
“For me, I just try to jump high. I love pole vaulting so much and I’ve loved it ever since I was just a little kid. If I’m able to take pole vaulting to another level and I can get as many eyes as possible watching it by jumping really high and doing some cool things, then that’s a job well done by me.”
Similar to the first day of these Diamond League finals, there was little sign of end-of-season fatigue with a number of world leading performances. The women’s high jumpers were among those excelling as Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine and Nicola Olyslagers of Australia jumped a world lead of 2.03m.
Mahuchikh won the Diamond Trophy on countback but Olyslagers had the consolation of an Oceania record as rising star Angelina Topic placed third with 1.95m and Britain’s Morgan Lake fifth equal with 1.91m.
Another world lead came in the 110m hurdles with Olympic champion Hansle Parchment of Jamaica clocking 12.93 (0.9) as world champion Grant Holloway of the United States was runner-up with 13.06.
Matt Denny enjoyed a surprise win in the men’s discus with an Australian record of 68.43m in the final round to beat Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia and world champion Daniel Stahl of Sweden as Britain’s Lawrence Okoye was fifth with 65.23m.
Joe Kovacs produced another big surprise as the two-day meeting drew to a close when he threw 22.93m in the shot put to beat world record-holder Ryan Crouser (22.91m) and Tom Walsh (22.69m).
READ MORE: Diamond League day one coverage
Kovacs took the lead with 22.70m in the first round and Crouser hit back with 22.91m in round two. But Kovacs rose to the occasion with 22.93m in the fourth round and Crouser, who won the world title last month after finding blood clots in his leg, could not quite regain the lead with 22.86m in the sixth round.
The final event went to form, though, with Shericka Jackson of Jamaica taking the 200m in 21.57 (0.3) with Britain’s Daryll Neita in fifth in 22.35.
2023 Diamond League final winners – day two
Men200m: Andre De Grasse (CAN) 19.76 (0.6)800m: Emmanuel Wanyonyi (KEN) 1:42.803000m: Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 7:23.63110m hurdles: Hansle Parchment 12.93 (0.9)Pole vault: Mondo Duplantis (SWE) 6.23m WRLong jump: Simon Ehammer (SUI) 8.22m (0.0)Shot put: Joe Kovacs (USA) 22.93mDiscus: Matt Denny (AUS) 68.43m
Women200m: Shericka Jackson (JAM) 21.57 (0.3)400m: Marileidy Paulino (DOM) 49.58.800m: Athing Mu (USA) 1:54.975000m: Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) 14:00.21 WR100m hurdles: Tobi Abusan (NGR) 12.33 (1.8)400m hurdles: Femke Bol (NED) 51.98High jump: Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR) 2.03mLong jump: Ivana Vuleta (SRB) 6.85m (0.2)Discus: Valarie Allman (USA) 68.66m
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