What you need to know:
- Tergat was also on hand to congratulate Africa and Commonwealth 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala who clocked his first sub-10 seconds on European soil
- The blue running track at the 20,000-seater Charlety Stadium was set alight by the night’s electric performances that also saw Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma break the 3,000m steeplechase world record and Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen run a world best in the two-mile race
- In the men’s 800m, Kenya’s impressive Emmanuel Wanyonyi said he will slowly build his bid to challenge David Rudisha’s mountain, 11-year-old world record of 1:40.91 set at the London Olympics
Distance legend Paul Tergat’s designer suit was soaked in world record sweat on Friday night.
He couldn’t resist offering Faith Kipyegon a congratulatory hug after the double Olympic and world 1,500 metres champion broke her second distance running world record inside seven days at the Charlety Stadium here.
Tergat, who is the National Olympic Committee of Kenya President, made his way to the media zone to celebrate Kipyegon’s world record run in the 5,000m in which the 29-year-old from Keringet, Nakuru County, clocked 14 minutes, 05.20 seconds to improve on the previous mark of 14:06.62 set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in Spain last October.
Gidey finished second on Friday night in 14:07.94 and graciously hugged Kipyegon at the finish line in acceptance and respect.
Tergat was also on hand to congratulate Africa and Commonwealth 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala who clocked his first sub-10 seconds on European soil, overcoming a slow start to finish second in 9.98 seconds behind USA’s World 200 metres champion Noah Lyles with Botswana’s junior world record holder over 200m, Letsile Tebogo, third in 10.05.
Race-fit Omanyala wasn’t too disappointed with his night in the office and will now travel back home to regroup before the National Championships and World Championships trials ahead of the global contest in Budapest in August.
“It was good because the progress has been there and the consistency has been there, and it’s all about building towards the World Championships… I thought I won though,” he told Nation Sport with a smile trackside at the packed Stade Sebastien Charlety.
“We’re getting there. It’s just a matter of maintaining it and putting more work to it. The good thing is that we are building up well towards the World Championships,” he added as Tergat jumped in to congratulate him at the media mixed zone.
The blue running track at the 20,000-seater Charlety Stadium was set alight by the night’s electric performances that also saw Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma break the 3,000m steeplechase world record and Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen run a world best in the two-mile race.
“I’m very excited to be here on the ground here in Paris where the Olympic action will be next year,” Tergat, a double Olympic 10,000m silver medallist and former world marathon record holder said.
“Faith Kipyegon has really shown consistency and determination… in short, this is her year and I believe going into next year, we will see more from her.”
Does Tergat fancy Kipyegon’s chances of doubling up on the Olympic track next summer?
“Since she has shown that she has the potential of doing that (doubling up), she can be able to do the same at the Olympics next year,” the five-time world cross country champion said.
In the men’s steeplechase, Ethiopia’s world and Olympic silver medalist Girma finished almost 100 metres ahead of second-placed Ryuji Miura of Japan (8:09.91) to set the new world record at 7:52.11, erasing the previous mark set by Kenya-born Qatari Saif Saeed Shaheen (7:53.63) in 2004.
The Ethiopian word indoor 3,000m record holder thanked the Parisian crowd for urging him on in the killer final lap.
“I’m happy and very proud. I felt so fast during the race, so confident. The world record is not a surprise; it was my plan to beat it tonight in Paris. It’s the result of my full determination.”
Meanwhile, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran a world best in the rarely-contested two miles race, winning in 7:54.10 and beating the previous mark held by Kenyan legend Daniel Komen at 7:58.61 and set in 1997 in Hechtel, Belgium.
In the men’s 800m, Kenya’s impressive Emmanuel Wanyonyi said he will slowly build his bid to challenge David Rudisha’s mountain, 11-year-old world record of 1:40.91 set at the London Olympics.
Wanyonyi ran his second world lead of the year, stopping the clock at 1:43.27 after warding off a challenge from Canada’s Marco Arop on the home straight.
“I’m happy with my performance. I will now work on my reaction at the start because I have a strong finish… It’s just a matter of time, but it (world record) will come at the right time,” he reacted.
“I was motivated after watching Faith, Jakob and Girma run record times ahead of my race.”