Faith Kipyegon reacts after shattering the 1500m world record set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 (Photo © Matthew Quine/Diamond League AG)

Kenya’s Kipyegon Breaks 1500m WR as Ethiopia’s Sembo Wins Steeplechase

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon broke women’s 1500 meters world record previously set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba eight years ago.

The 29-year-old Kenyan set the new world record at the Florence Diamond League meeting on Friday, clocking 3 minutes and 49.11 seconds.

The pacemakers had been asked to take the field through in 3:54 pace, per the sports governing body World Athletics (WA).

But that pace merely left Kipyegon full of running when she took the lead in the penultimate lap, as she blazed through the final 600m at unprecedented speed and went on to take down the previous 3:50.07 WR, set by Genzebe in Monaco in 2015.

Having won both Olympic and world titles, the Kenyan was determined to claim the last great 1500m prize available with the world record.

“I said yesterday that I wanted to run a beautiful race, run my race, and see what is possible, and this was possible,” she said. “There’s still more to come. I’m still working on running faster than that, faster than 3:49.”

Sembo reigns in steeplechase

In the women’s steeplechase, it was Ethiopia’s Sembo Almayew who set a new standard for the season.

Sembo wins the women's 3000m steeplechase with 9:00.71
Sembo wins the women’s 3000m steeplechase with 9:00.71 (Photo © Matthew Quine / Diamond League AG)

She run away from a high-class field to win in 9:00.71 from world U20 champion Jackline Chepkoech of Kenya (9:02.43).

Her fellow Ethiopian Zerfe Wondemagegn finished third, clocking 9:04.61.

Record holder Beatrice Chepkoech settled for a fourth-place finish after timing 9:10.02.

500m: Yomif Near Miss

Meanwhile, Spain’s Mohamed Katir upstaged a star-studded in 5000m field, defeating Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia in a sprint to the death, to win by 0.03 in 12:52.09.

Luis Grijalva of Guatemala defied all odds to finish after clocking a national record of 12:52.97, just ahead of Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei (12:53.81).

Record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda had to settle for the fourth place with Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega coming in ninth.

All the 16 athletes apart from Grijalva who had lined up recorded either a personal or a season best.