What you need to know:
- Kenya’s Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngétich also showed class, setting the Diamond League and Area record with a triumphant time of 2:29.15 in 1,000m.
- Cheptegei, who is also the reigning World Cross Country 10km champion, cruised to victory in a record time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds.
Uganda’s World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei lived up to his promise when he smashed the 5,000m world record during the the season-opening Monaco Diamond League meet on Friday.
Cheptegei, who is also the reigning World Cross Country 10km champion, cruised to victory in a record time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds.
The Ugandan effortlessly erased Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s previous time of 12:37.35 set on May 31, 2004 in Hengelo, the Netherlands.
That happened as Kenya’s World champion 5,000m Hellen Obiri crashed the meeting record and World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot glided to a world lead time in their respective races.
The 23-year-old Cheptegei way inside Bekele’s previous world recording, cruising past 3,000m in 7:35.14 and 4000m 10:05.46 on his way to victory.
Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli produced a personal best of 12:51.78 for second place, with compatriot Jacob Krop coming in third in a season best of 13:11.32.
Obiri, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games 5,000m silver medallist, won a thrilling clash with World 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia affirming her prowess in women’s 5,000m in a meeting record time of 14:22.12 to finish second.
World 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands, dropped off with 1,000m to go as the athletes cruised at 11:34.99, leaving the battle to Gidey, who led Obiri through.
Obiri led through 4,200m at 12:12.00 with a classic East African battle unfolding as Gidey led through the bell at 13:19. However, it’s Obiri, who won the battle of speed, beating Gidey with 300m to not only set a meeting record, but a world lead too.
The feat saw Obiri erase Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba’s meeting record of 14:28.88 set on July 8, 2014.
Gidey settled second in season best 14:26.57 with Briton Laura Weightman clocking personal best 14:35.44 for third, while Jessica Hull produced a national record and personal best time of 14:43.80 for fourth place.
Another Kenyan, World 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech, came in sixth in season best 14:55.01.
“I was not able to train properly after the Covid-19 lockdown and that is why I wasn’t well prepared for this race,” said Obiri. “I thought I was in shape for 14.40 but I am really happy to have done 14.22."
Obiri said that it was a golden opportunity for her to come to Monaco and run a world lead and a meet record. “It was really tricky to accept the situation overall of not competing in Tokyo but we have to accept this and we need to train for next year,” explained Obiri.
Pace setters Timothy Sein took the athletes past the 400m and 800m in 52.59 and 1:51.24 respectively with Cheruiyot behind.
Cheruiyot would lead through 1,200m in 2:47.64 with the chasing pack closing in, but the Kenyan held them off to win in world lead time of 3:28.45.
European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway set a new area record and personal best 3:28.68, as Jake Whiteaman from Britain closed the top three in personal best 3:29.47.
World champion Donavan Brazier from the USA claimed a world lead of 1:43.15 when winning the men's 800m, beating fellow country man Bryce Hoppel to second place in personal best 1:43.23, with Canadian Marco Arop coming in third also in personal best 1:44.14.
Kenya’s World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich settled eighth in season best 1:45.48 in a race where the leading athlete hit the bell at 50.40n seconds.
Kenya’s Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngétich also showed class, setting the Diamond League and Area record with a triumphant time of 2:29.15 in 1,000m.