Diamond League: Gudaf Breaks 5000m World Record in Eugene

Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay obliterated the 5000m world record, clocking 14:00.21 to claim the title with a groundbreaking performance at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene.

The finishing time on Sunday is Gudaf’s second senior world record of her career and her first outdoors, according to the sports governing body World Athletics (WA).

At Hayward Field, the world 10,000m champion took almost five seconds off the world record of 14:05.20 set by Faith Kipyegon at the Paris Diamond League back in June.

A fast time had been on the cards and world indoor 1500m record-holder Gudaf delivered in the second track final of a packed second day of action.

The pacemakers led through 1000m in 2:48.08 and 2000m in 5:37.24, before Gudaf’s compatriot Birke Haylom reached 3000m in front in 8:26.03 – well on world record pace. The 17-year-old, however, could not complete the race.

However, Gudaf – looking composed and determined – forged ahead, reaching 4000m in 11:16.89. 

She only had Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet for company at that point but she later left the two-time world medallist behind, too, as she strode away targeting another historic performance.

Gudaf created a gap on Chebet with two laps to go and by the back straight she had stormed ahead of the lights indicating a world record pace.

She reached the bell at around 12:55 and with the crowd on their feet and the clock ticking towards 14 minutes, she crossed the line just after that – in 14:00.21. Chebet was second in 14:05.92.

“I was really angry to not bring back two medals from the World Championships, but I knew from our training I had a lot of potential to do something with my fitness,” said Gudaf, who finished 13th in the 5000m final in Budapest after winning her 10,000m title. 

At Eugene, that changed. Gudaf said “I’m very happy” now that she has won and broken the record.

Yomif Kejelcha narrowly beaten in 3000m

Jakob Ingebrigtsen set a diamond league record in the men’s 3000m in Eugene after a late charge from Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha put him under serious pressure. 

It took a photo finish to separate the two, with Ingebrigtsen getting the win in 7:23.63 to Yomif’s 7:23.64 ­– the third- and fourth-fastest performances of all time behind Daniel Komen’s world record of 7:20.67 and Hicham El Guerrouj’s 7:23.09, according to the WA.

Kejelcha improved the Ethiopian 3000m record with his mark.

USA’s Grant Fisher was third in 7:25.47 in third, Ethiopia’s Telahun Haile Bekele setting a PB of 7:25.48 in fourth and his compatriot Selemon Barega also running a PB of 7:26.28 in fifth.

“It was a very good race,” Yomif said. “I should have gone out with 7 or 5 laps to go because I was in a very good condition, but I didn’t make that. That’s a very big mistake.”

Yomif booked his ticket to the Diamond League Finals after winning a 5000m race ahead of his compatriot Selemon on August 30, 2023.

They were preparing with a plan to take part in the 5000m final in Eugene.

“All of a sudden, they say that it’s going to be 3000m,” Yomif said, and he went ahead in 3000m, which “makes everything not normal.”

Diribe second as Kipyegon wins 1500m

On Saturday, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon closed an incredible track season with a 1500m win ahead of Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji.

Kipyegon was always to the fore, and she passed 1200m in 3:06.07 before finishing strongly to claim a fifth Diamond League title.

Ethiopia’s world silver medallist Diribe took more than a second off her Personal Best to claim the second spot in 3:53.93. Her Compatriot finished Freweyni Hailu fourth in a PB of 3:55.68, behind Britain’s Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir (3:55.16).

While the track season might now be complete, Kipyegon and Diribe will face each other at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23, where they will contest in the road mile race on 1 October.

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