In what is fast becoming the greatest summer of her life, Sifan Hassan now has a world record to her name. In a time of 4:12.33 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday (12) night, the Dutch superstar smashed the women's mile mark which next month would have been 23-years-old.
No longer. The time of 4:12.56 set by Russian Svetlana Masterkova was heading to that anniversary on August 14 from her performance in Zurich 1996 just weeks after winning Olympic gold in Atlanta in both the 800m and 1500m. Now it is Hassan who has her eyes on double global glory.
With the IAAF World Championships edging closer, Hassan smashed the world record in a memorable race in which Great Britain's Laura Weightman finished second in a personal best of 4:17.60 and Canada's Gabriela DeBues-Stafford was third in a national record of 4:17.87.
— IAAF Diamond League (@Diamond_League) July 13, 2019
Hassan started the night with a best of 4:14.71 for the distance and after an unspectacular opening 800m in which the world record looked out of reach, she took the race on to add this success to the European 3000m record of 8:18.49 in Stanford on 30 June. Hassan’s 1500m split time of 3:55.30 was also an improvement on her Dutch record of 3:55.93.
"I knew I could run fast but the first 800m was a bit slow, so I wasn't thinking it would be a world record," said Hassan. "When I crossed the line I was so surprised.
Her victory had an extra resonance because it was in a race named after the late American runner Gabe Grunewald.
Grunewald died from cancer last month at just 32 and the event in Monaco was renamed the 'Brave like Gabe' Mile. It is a race that has entered the annals of athletics history.
One of Hassan's main rivals in Doha over the 1500m will be Great Britain's European indoor and outdoor champion Laura Muir. She will run the distance at the London Diamond League next weekend and on Friday night, she gave herself a speed test over 800m and had a fine night.
As American Ajee' Wilson won in 1:57.73 from Jamaican Natoya Goule in 1:57.90, Muir was third in a personal best of 1:58.42, breaking her old best time by 0.27.
Lisek improves Polish record and world lead to 6.02m in the pole vault
A week after breaking his national outdoor pole vault record of 5.94m with his 6.01m in Lausanne, Poland’s Piotr Lisek went even better in Monaco by winning in 6.02m. “For sure I didn't expect 6.02 – it's almost a dream. I can't believe it," he said. "I thought 5.90m this season, maybe 6.00m in Doha. I've been injury free this year and 100 percent healthy.”
Just when it seemed that Sweden’s European champion Armand Duplantis could take his Berlin glory all the way to the World Championships, Lisek has changed the direction of the event this summer in a matter of seven days.
When he went over the 6.02m, Lisek put his hands over his face as he tried to digest what he had just achieved. The Pole now has the two best jumps in the world to his name.
Duplantis had cleared 5.92m before trying to match Lisek but missed out with his two efforts at 6.02m. He took second place on countback from Brazil’s Olympic champion Thiago Braz.
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 13, 2019
Andreas Hofmann took the top honours this time in the men’s javelin as the leading contenders all showed what a brilliant year it is becoming for the event.
After losing to his fellow German and Olympic and European champion Thomas Rohler in Luzern on Tuesday night, Hofmann was the star of the show this time, winning with 87.84m from Estonia’s Magnus Kirt with 87.74m and Rohler with 86.04m.
It was Hofmann’s night from the first throw as he sent the javelin soaring to 87.66m. His reached his winning mark in the third round - the same stage of the competition that Rohler had his best - before Kirt’s furthest came in the final round.
Hofmann vowed there are greater distances ahead as he said: “I am quite satisfied with this performance. The last few weeks I had technical issues but today was better. Twice over 87 metres is good and it will be three more metres next time.”
Lasitskene proves untouchable in the high jump again
Mariya Lasitskene’s bid for a third successive world title remains on track, winning the high jump with 2.00m from Bulgaria’s Olympic silver medallist Mirela Demireva who beat Australia’s Nicola McDermott on countback on 1.94m.
The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers is another athlete chasing a Doha hat-trick and she was third in the 200m in 22.45 as Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo won in 22.09 from Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in 22.44.
Norway’s double European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen was second in the 1500m in 3:30.47 - just a fraction outside his recently set European U20 and U23 record of 3:30.16 from Lausanne - as Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot won 3:29.97.
Great Britain’s Charlie Grice celebrated a personal best of 3:30.62 as he finished fourth to break Steve Ovett’s Brighton Phoenix club record of 3:30.77 which has stood since 1983.
With 17.38m, Portugal’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo was third in the triple jump as Olympic champion Christian Taylor won with 17.82m from US teammate Will Claye with 17.75m and the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova was also third in the 400m hurdles in 54.55 behind US pair Sydney McLaughlin (53.32) and Ashley Spencer (54.46).