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Record-breaker Kipyegon, Warholm set Monaco Diamond League alight

Faith Kipyegon. Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, with her third world record of a scintillating season, and Norwegian Karsten Warholm, with the fourth fastest 400m hurdles ever, ensured the Monaco Diamond League meet on Friday lived up to its glittering reputation.

Jamaica’s world champion Shericka Jackson won the women’s 200m, but there was a rare defeat for Swedish pole vaulting king Mondo Duplantis at the Stade Louis II.

Kipyegon continued her remarkable form by smashing the women’s mile world record, just a month after setting world records in the 1500m and 5,000m in June.

The 29-year-old Kenyan, a two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist and twice world champion, clocked 4min 07.64sec to obliterate the previous best of 4:12.33 set by Ethiopian-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan in 2019, also in Monaco.

Aided not only by on-the-mark pace-setting but also by the Wavelight trackside lighting system that indicated world record pace, Kipyegon took the lead with two laps to run and made no mistake in perfect running conditions with a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

“I came for that, I wanted to chase the world record,” said Kipyegon. “It was amazing. And just before the world championships” in Budapest in August.

Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Warholm, in his favoured lane seven, was quickly out of the blocks and past Dutchman Nick Smidt on his outside.

World champion Alison Dos Santos was on Warholm’s inside and managed to keep the Norwegian in his sights.

But an aggressive final bend helped Warholm scorch through the line in 46.51sec, the fourth fastest ever time of all time that was also a new world lead and Diamond League record.

Dos Santos, making his first hurdles appearance of the season after injury, claimed second in 47.66sec, with American CJ Allen third (47.84).

“It shows I’m in really good shape, it means I’m exactly where I want to be. Today was a very good race again,” said Warholm.

“It’s very nice to take the Diamond League record, it’s my second best time ever, so I’m proud and happy with it.

“My shape is becoming better and better, it’s very nice to be in that position. This is nice timing as the world championships are just around the corner.”

Nilsen trumps Duplantis

There was a first defeat for US-born Swede Duplantis since Brussels in September last year.

He entered at 5.72m, with three of the 12-strong field including France’s 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie already having bombed out.

Duplantis, who set a new world record of 6.22m in France in February, clipped the bar three times at 5.92m, with American Christopher Nilsen already clear at that height for victory.

Jamaica’s world 200m champion Jackson clocked 21.86sec to win the event ahead of St Lucia’s Julien Alfred (22.08sec), with Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith in third. American Gabrielle Thomas, who has this season’s fastest time, could only finish seventh (22.67).

“I want to make sure I am on the top of my shape in Budapest,” said Jackson, admitting she would have to work on execution around the bends.

“The curve was hard… I have to go back to the training for this. I am healthy and I am happy to be here and I enjoy running.”

Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala claimed victory in the men’s 100m in 9.92sec in a photo-finish with Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo.

Omanyala’s teammate Wyclife Kinyamal won the men’s 800m in an impressive 1:43.22 while Nia Ali blasted to another world-leading time of 12.30sec in the 100m hurdles as Americans took the first four spots.

Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert, the world under-20 world champion making his European debut, was beaten to the top of the triple jump podium after Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice  Zango pulled out a last-gasp 17.70m best to win by 4cm.

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