New global marks for Tsegay and Duplantis plus exciting victories for Mu and Ingebrigtsen as Eugene hosts one of the greatest grand prix meets ever
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 as a time trial with a number of athletes queuing up behind Ingebrigtsen at the bell.
Ingebrigtsen was racing just 24 hours after…