World record-setter Kipyegon says there is of more to come
Faith Kipyegon warned there is more to come after adding the women’s 1500m world record to a stellar career path that has already seen her bag two world and two Olympic golds over the distance.
The 29-year-old Kenyan clocked 3:49.11 in Florence on Friday to shatter the previous record of 3:50.07 set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in Monaco in 2015.
Kipyegon, considered the greatest ever woman in the discipline, crushed the rest of the field in Tuscany, finishing more than eight seconds ahead of reigning European champion Laura Muir, while Jessica Hull set an Australian and Oceania record of 3:57.29 in third.
Coming into the Golden Gala meeting, Kipyegon had said that the world record was in her heart and on her mind.
And she duly delivered at the third leg of the Diamond League circuit in a city that last saw a world record when World Athletics president Sebastian Coe broke the 800m mark there in 1981.
“I said yesterday that I wanted to run a beautiful race, run my race, and see what is possible, and this was possible,” said Kipyegon, who came agonisingly close to breaking the record at the Monaco Diamond League meet last year.
Aided by wavelight technology, whereby lights light up around the track to show world record pace, the race’s pacemakers had been asked to take the field through in 3:54 pace.
It looked ambitious on a damp track after early rain, 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.
– ‘Trust in me’ –
“When I crossed the finish line, I knew I broke the world record because I had a good finish and felt very very strong at the end,” she said.
“After 1km, when the pacemaker went out, I just pushed myself towards the finish line. And that was what my manager told me — anything is possible — after the pacemaker, just run your race.
“And that is what I did. I am excited — my family was watching. I told them that this would be an amazing day for me, I am well prepared and I really trusted in me.”
Kipyegon added: “I am going back to celebrate with my daughter. This was really important because this was something I was still missing in my career.
“Getting this, it will really motivate me and I left the legacy for the next generation — they can say she broke the world record, she was the Olympic and the world champion. It was amazing.”
Kipyegon was enveloped by the rest of the field after the enormity of having set a world record dawned on her, posing for photos on the track.
“We have really come along as 1500 women,” Kipyegon said. “They are really special. We come along together, cheer one another.
“This is sport, we have to love each other and celebrate one another at our lowest moments and highest moments, and I really thank the ladies for coming along and running together and celebrating this world record together. We were part of this together.”
While the Kenyan will race over 5,000m at the Paris Diamond League on Friday, a return to training in Kenya will be followed by another potential record attempt over 1500m at the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 21.
“There’s still more to come. I’m still working on running faster than that, faster than 3:49,” she warned.
“This was special so let’s celebrate it now and we will see what happens in Monaco.”