FLORENCE (2 June) – Faith Kipyegon of Kenya etched her name in history at the Golden Gala, the third Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season, as she shattered the long-standing world record in the women’s 1500m event.
Her awe-inspiring time of 3:49.11 cemented her status as one of the greatest middle-distance runners of all time, adding to her impressive collection of two Olympic and two world championship titles. Read more: Ackeem Blake, Oblique Seville out of clash with Christian Coleman at Racers Grand Prix
Following the race, the entire field joined together to celebrate Kipyegon’s extraordinary achievement. She closed out the last lap with an astonishing 58.81 seconds, and she got strong down the home straight.
Kipyegon had already established herself as the second-fastest women’s 1500m runner in history, achieving a previous personal best of 3:50.37 seconds in Monaco last August. At that time, she came tantalizingly close to breaking the world record of 3:50.07 seconds set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015, missing it by a mere 0.3 seconds.
However, on this unforgettable evening in Florence, Kipyegon surpassed all expectations and shattered the existing record, becoming the first woman to break the 3:50 barrier in the 1500m discipline. She eclipsed the previous record by nearly a second, solidifying her dominance in the sport.
Prior to the race, Kipyegon openly expressed her ambitions of claiming the world record in 2023. Her unwavering determination and focus were evident as she confidently stated, “The record is in my heart and on my mind, and I hope this will be a perfect year for me,” just a day before the Golden Gala.
The race unfolded with Kipyegon closely tailing the pacemakers Brooke Feldmeier and Sage Hurta-Klecker, who led the field through the first 400 meters in 62.37 seconds. As Hurta-Klecker stepped aside, Kipyegon seized the opportunity and took charge, maintaining a strong position on the leader’s shoulder and reaching the 800-meter mark in 2:04 seconds.
At the 1200-meter point, Kipyegon further accelerated, pushing the pace and crossing the mark in 3:05.28 seconds. With the finish line in sight, fueled by the deafening cheers of the crowd, she unleashed a final burst of speed.
As she crossed the line in the new world record time, a mix of disbelief and elation washed over her, causing her to raise her hands to her face before collapsing to the track in sheer joy.
“I am so happy for Faith” – Laura Muir
Behind Kipyegon, Laura Muir of Great Britain secured the second-place finish, completing the race in an impressive time of 3:57.09 seconds. Australia’s Jessica Hull claimed the third-place position, setting an area record of 3:57.29 seconds.
“It was great to be part of the world record race. But it was not the first world record race I was running in, I was in previous ones,” Muir said.
“I am so happy for Faith. I would have loved to be closer to her. But for the first race of the season this is really decent. I have never gone through the first 800m as fast as today.”