Report07 Jul 2024

Mahuchikh and Kipyegon break world records in Paris


Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the high jump in Paris (© Christel Saneh)

World champions Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Faith Kipyegon produced world-record-breaking performances* within an hour of each other at the Meeting de Paris – part of the Wanda Diamond League – on Sunday (7).

Mahuchikh took down one of the longest-standing world records on the books, clearing 2.10m to win the high jump. Kipyegon, meanwhile, revised her own world record with 3:49.04 in the 1500m in what turned out to be one of the deepest races of all time.

Ukrainian high jumper Mahuchikh saw off the challenge of world indoor champion Nicola Olyaslagers, who had matched Mahuchikh at 2.01m, both women clearing it on their second attempts. Australia’s Olyslagers failed three times at 2.03m, but Mahuchikh got over it on her second try.

With victory secured, Mahuchikh moved the bar up to 2.07m and once again cleared it on her second jump, doing so with room to spare to set a Ukrainian record. She then had the bar raised to 2.10m – one centimetre higher than the world record set by Stefka Kostadinova at the 1987 World Championships – and cleared it on her first try.

“Coming into this competition, I had feelings that I could jump 2.07m and maybe 2.10m,” said Mahuchikh. “Finally I signed Ukraine to the history of world athletics.”

Less than an hour after Mahuchikh’s iconic leap, Kipyegon made history on the track.

Returning to the scene of her record-breaking mark over 5000m last year, Kipyegon broke her own world 1500m record in the final race of the evening.

The early pace was swift, with Kipyegon covering 800m in 2:04 as Australia’s Jess Hull positioned herself just a stride behind the multiple world and Olympic champion. With the pacemakers having dropped out, Kipyegon covered the third lap in 60.8 seconds and continued to increase her pace.

She kicked at the bell and opened up a gap over Hull, striding clear to win in 3:49.04, taking 0.07 off the world record she set last year in Florence. Hull finished second in 3:50.83, smashing her own Oceanian record to move to fifth on the world all-time list. Laura Muir was third in a British record of 3:53.79, and for the first time ever, 12 women finished inside four minutes.

“I knew the world record was possible because I recently ran very fast in Kenya,” said Kipyegon, who clocked 3:53.98 at Kenya’s Olympic Trials. “I was coming here to just run my race and to see what shape I’m in to defend my title at the Olympics.”

Faith Kipyegon wins the 1500m in Paris

Faith Kipyegon wins the 1500m in Paris (© Christel Saneh)

Djamel wins 800m of historic depth, leading three men under 1:42

Djamel Sedjati and Emmannuel Wanyonyi both arrived in Paris unbeaten in 800m finals this year, while Gabriel Tual had won the European title and clocked a PB to win the French title last weekend. But Wanyonyi was coming off the back of a world-leading 1:41.70 win at the Kenyan Olympic Trials, so was considered the man to beat.

The pacemaker had been instructed to cover the first lap in 49.60, so when he hit the half-way mark in 48.79 it appeared as though the tempo may have been a bit too ambitious. But Wanyonyi, Wyclife Kinyamal, Sedjati and Tual were all still in close contention as the pack headed down the back straight for the final time.

Wanyonyi led through the final bend with Sedjati on his shoulder, while Tual moved into third with 100 metres to go. Sedjati then used his trademark kick to pull ahead of Wanyonyi; the teenager tried to respond and managed to close some of the gap, while Tual was also closing fast on the outside, but Sedjati held them off to win in a world-leading national record of 1:41.56.

Wanyonyi was a close second in 1:41.58, revising his recent PB, while Tual took third in a French record of 1:41.61. It was the first time in history that three men have broken 1:42 in the same race; it’s also the first time that six men have finished inside 1:43.

“I’m satisfied with my race and I’m confident that I’ll prepare well for the Olympic Games in Paris in the coming weeks,” said Sedjati, who came within 0.02 of the meeting record set by David Rudisha back in 2012, just a few weeks before he struck Olympic gold with a world record. “I know I can do even better there.”

Global champions triumph

There was almost a second vertical jumps world record in Paris as Mondo Duplantis took aim at 6.25m in the men’s pole vault.

The world and Olympic champion had the competition won at 6.00m, getting over it on his second try while two-time world champion Sam Kendricks bowed out with three misses, having equalled his season’s best of 5.95m. Duplantis then raised the bar to 6.25m, a centimetre higher than the world record he set in Xiamen earlier this year. His third attempt was his closest, but it was not to be today.

World steeplechase champion Winfred Yavi returned to winning ways in what was just her second race over the barriers this year. The Bahraini runner won in 9:03.68, while European champion Alice Finot broke her own French record with 9:05.01 in second place, much to the delight of the home crowd. Britain’s Elizabeth Bird was third in 9:09.07, while world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech faded to ninth in the closing stages.

World champion Marileidy Paulino came within 0.08 of the meeting record she set last year, winning the women’s 400m in a season’s best of 49.20. European champion Natalia Kaczmarek came through to take second place in 49.82, while 2019 world champion Salwa Eid Naser recorded the same time in third.

Olympic champion Valarie Allman extended her winning streak in the discus, winning with a final-round effort of 68.07m. Dutch duo Jorinde van Klinken (67.23m) and Alida van Daalen (65.78m) were second and third respectively.

Competitive contests over the barriers

In one of the closest races of the day, Ethiopia’s Abrham Sime held off Kenya’s Amos Serem to win the steeplechase by two thousandths of a second, both men recording PBs of 8:02.36.

Abraham Kibiwot was third in a season’s best (8:06.70), and there were national records for Tunisia’s Mohamed Amin Jhinaoui (8:09.41), New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish (8:09.64, also an Oceania record) and India’s Avinash Sable (8:09.91).

The men’s 110m hurdles was similarly close. Sasha Zhoya scraped through the heats, making it into the final by a thousandth of a second, but then went on to win the final in an equal PB of 13.15 (-0.6m/s). USA’s Trey Cunningham was given the same time in second place, just five thousandths of a second behind, and Japan’s Shunsuke Izumiya was third in 13.16, matching the time he ran in the heats.

Rachid Muratake had won the first heat in 13.15, but was a late non-starter for the final after picking up an injury in his warm-up.

The men’s 400m hurdles was also much closer than expected. 2022 world champion Alison dos Santos emerged victorious in 47.78, but the Brazilian was just 0.17 ahead of Estonia’s Rasmus Magi, who took second place in a season’s best of 47.95.

Elsewhere on the track, Jacob Krop clocked a world-leading 7:28.83 to win a non-scoring men’s 3000m. Alexander Ogando won the men’s 200m in 19.98, while Luxembourg’s Patrizia van der Weken took the women’s 100m in 11.06.

Earlier in the afternoon, 2022 world champion and world leader Brooke Andersen gained redemption of sorts after missing out on making the US team for the Olympics, winning the hammer with a meeting record of 73.27m. Five-time world champion Pawel Fajdek took the men’s event with 77.13m, gaining another confidence-boosting victory over defending Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki (75.17m).

Elsewhere in the field events, Julian Weber won the men’s javelin with 85.91m and Italy’s Larissa Iapichino took the women’s long jump with 6.82m.

It was a frustrating day for decathlon world record-holder Kevin Mayer, who was competing in a combined events triathlon. He produced the best mark of the day in the shot put (15.12m), then skipped the long jump and crashed out of the hurdles, screaming in frustration and pain as he laid face-down on the track. Although he got up and walked away, it wasn’t the performance he’d have been looking for just a few weeks out from the Paris 2024 Olympics, for which he is one of the host nation’s top hopes of a medal.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics

*Subject to the usual ratification procedure

Pages related to this article
Related links