The Stade de France will have to wait to be the theatre for a world record in athletics after near misses on Friday night.
Kenyan David Rudisha gave his absolute all to pull it out of the bag in the 800m, but he was 53 hundredths of a second off the pace.
His compatriot Sammy Tangui played the role of pacesetter during the first lap, so as to get the world record man into orbit in 49:37 but it wasn’t enough.
Rudisha nevertheless beat the Meeting Areva record (held by André Bucher since 2001) and his own personal best this year. Spaniard Antonio Reina 1:45.62 and Kenyan Alfred Yego 1:45.58 completed the podium.
This was the World champions sixth800m race under 1:42. Another man who had set his sights on the World record was Paul Kipsiele Koech in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. He too managed to beat the meeting record in his 8:00.57 win.
Kenyans dominated the race with Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto (8:01.73), Abel Mutai (8:03.15) and Jairus Birech (8:03.43) were right behind Koech, who’s now got a sizeable lead in the Diamond League ranking.
The 5,000m which also served as an Ethiopian Olympics trials lived up to expectations as Ethiopian, Dejen Gebremeskel, bronze medallist in the Daegu Worlds last year, threw the stopwatch into turmoil with a time of 12:46.81, the fastest in the world so far in 2012.
His compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet, aged 18, beat the junior world record in 12:47.53. Kenyan Isaiah Koech the winner of the Olympics trials also ran his personal best of 12:48.64.
Moroccan Mariem Alaoui Selsouli set the bar very high indeed with a view to the London Games, by pulling off her best time of the season over 1,500m in 3:56.15, a new Moroccan record.
She finished ahead of the new European champion, Turk Asli Cakir Alptekin (3:56.62, personal best) and Ethiopian Abeba Aregawi (3:58.59), who nevertheless remains at the head of the Diamond League.
The top Kenyan in the race was Viola Kibiwott who ran a PB of 3:59.25 in fourth while Hellen Obiri faded to seventh in 4:01.43.
In the 100m dash American Tyson Gay (9.99) outsprinted compatriot Justin Gatlin (10.03).
Compiled from meeting areva