Track and field history was made not once but three times in Paris on Friday on a memorable night in the French capital.
A week after breaking the women’s 1,500m world record, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon put her name in the record books again, this time setting a world record in the women’s 5,000m at the Diamond League meet at Stade Charlety.
The Olympic champion clocked a time of 14:05.20, finishing over two seconds ahead of her nearest challenger, Letesenbet Gidey, who had held the world record in the event.
To make her achievement even more impressive, Kipyegon was competing in the distance for only the third time, and for the first time in eight years, according to World Athletics.
“I didn’t think about the world record, I don’t know how I made it,” Kipyegon, who fell onto the track after the race, exhausted and emotional, said, per World Athletics.
“I just focused on the green light and tried to stay relaxed and enjoy the race. When I saw that it was a world record, I was so surprised – I just wanted to improve on my PB, the world record was not my plan. I just ran after Gidey – she is an amazing lady.”
Records continued to be broken throughout the night. Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma set a world record in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase.
The Olympic and world silver medallist crossed the line in 7:52.11 seconds, which was over a second quicker than the time of 7:53.63 set by Qatar’s Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.
“I’m happy and very proud. I felt so fast during the race, so confident,” he said. “The world record is not a surprise. it was my plan to beat it tonight in Paris. It’s the result of my full determination.”
Next, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen obliterated the previous best of 7:58.61 in the men’s two-mile race – which isn’t an official world record distance, says World Athletics.
World and Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen set a world best 7:54.10, telling reporters afterwards: “Being able to break this mark feels amazing.”
“It is my first world best outdoors. The pace felt very smooth for me, coming out of the 1500m,” he said, per World Athletics. “The public was amazing. Without their help, it would have been more difficult. I was a bit surprised by the time in the end.”