19-year old Bahraini Ruth Jebet shattered Gulnara Galkina’s 8-year old world record with an eye-catching performance in women’s 3000m steeplechase on Saturday night’s Paris Diamond League. Jebet’s phenomenal run took away more than 6 seconds from the Russian’s previous world mark that was set up during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Another big performance of the 12th DL meeting came in men’s 3000m, where Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha created a new U-20 world record in men’s 3000m. Many of the distance events saw impressive performances in Paris, where other winners included; Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer in men’s 800m with the third fastest time of the year; Great Britain’s Laura Muir in women’s 1500m to set a new British record; Kenyan Nicholas Bett took men’s 400m hurdles and USA’s Natasha Hastings topped women’s 400m. Besides, Netherlands’ Rio silver medalist Dafne Schippers won the women’s 200m to take a commanding lead in Diamond Race standings, Spain’s Rio gold medalist woman high jumper Ruth Beitia topped the event at Paris, Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite won men’s 100m and Kendra Harrison won yet another women’s 100m hurdles.
The most talked about event of the 12th Diamond League meeting at Paris was women’s 3000m steeplechase, where Bahrain’s teenaged runner set a new world record. The Rio gold medalist Jebet simply blew away Galkina’s previous world mark of 8:58.81 by stealing more than 6 seconds from it to finish in 8:52.78. The second-placed and Rio silver winner Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi was far behind in 9:01.96 while USA’s Emma Coburn finished third in 9:10.86. The top three women emulated their 1-2-3 standing at Rio 12 days ago. In this women’s event, besides Galkina and Jebet, no other athlete in the world has run the race in under 9 minutes and Jebet is the only one to have dipped the 9-minute barrier on three occasions.
Another teenager won the men’s 3000m at Paris by breaking the U-20 world record. Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha clocked 7:28.19 to replace the earlier record of Kenya’s Augustine Choge, who had run the race in 7:28.78 in 2005 at Doha. The race had begun with Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguidir opening up a big lead even as he crossed 2000 meters. But the initial pace took its toll on Iguidir, who had to slow down and it was here that the tall Kejelcha closed the gap. In the final 150 meters, the 19-year old Ethiopian went into the lead and never looked back. With the world mark assuredly broken, Kejelcha collapsed after the finish line. lguidir finished second in 7:30.09 and another Ethipian Hagos Gebrhiwet third in 7:30.45. It was a fantastic race, where 9 runners recorded their Personal Bests including the 14th placed Kenyan Paul Kipngetic Tanui.
Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer won men’s 800m in a personal best time of 1:42.87, world’s third fastest time this year. In the last 50 meters Kipketer was seriously challenged by Rio silver winner Algerian Taoufik Maklhoufi but the Kenyan held on to win with Maklhoufi taking the second place in 1:42.98. Another Kenyan Jonathan Kiprotich Kitilit finished third in 1:43.05. Great Britain’s Laura Muir won the women’s 1500m in 3:55.22 to erase her own British national record of 3:57.49. Muir left Rio gold winner Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon at second place and Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan at third. Another Kenyan Nicholas Bett won men’s 400m hurdles in 48.01s ahead of USA’s Kerron Clement, who clocked 48.19. Turkey’s Yasmani Copello was third in 48.24. Women’s 400m was won by USA’s Natasha Hastings in 50.06. Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson finished second in 50.33, ahead of her compatriot Christine Day, who clocked 50.75. Rio gold medalist Shaunae Miller didn’t run at Paris.
Netherlands’ Rio silver medalist Dafne Schippers took a commanding lead in this year’s Diamond Race standings by winning women’s 200m in 22.13, ahead of GBR’s Desiree Henry, who clocked 22.46. USA’s Jenna Prandini finished third in 22.48. In men’s 100m, Ben Youssef Meite set a new Ivory Coast national record by winning in 9.96. Meite’s was the only sub-10 second time with South African Akani Simbine finishing second in 10.00, while Netherlands’ European champion Martina Churandy was third in 10.01. Kendra Harrison of USA topped women’s 100m hurdles by clocking 12.44 ahead of compatriot Dawn Harper Nelson, who took 12.65 seconds. GBR’s Cindy Ofili finished third in 12.66.
Other notable winners at Paris were; Spain’s Rio gold medalist Ruth Beitia in women’s high jump, New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh in men’s shot put, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie in men’s pole-vault, Serbian Ivana Spanovic in women’s long jump, USA’s Chris Carter in men’s triple jump, Sandra Perkovic in women’s discus and Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch in men’s javelin.