Bett 'relaxed' as he races to first diamond win in Paris, Jebet smashes steeple WR

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 28, 2021
  • Nicholas Bett won the 400m hurdles diamond league in Paris.(Photo:SNA File)

  • Ruth Jebet broke the World Record in the women's 3000m steeplechase.

World champion Nicholas Bett bounced back from a disappointing first round exit at the Rio Olympics as he raced to his first ever diamond league victory in Paris on Saturday in a season best of 48.06 in a closely contested men’s 400m hurdles.

Ruth Jebet broke Gulnara Galinka’s eight-year-old world record to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase on a night of eye-catching distance performances at the Meeting de Paris, the 12th stop of the IAAF Diamond League series.

Her time of 8:52.78 shattered the previous mark of 8:58.81 set by the Russian at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and remarkably is the third sub-nine-minute clocking of the season for Jebet, who took the Olympic title in Rio 12 days ago.

At the pre-competition press conference, Jebet had played down suggestions she could break the mark.

But with the pace going out faster than planned, it was clear that something special was in the hot, still Parisian air. Caroline Tuiging paced the leaders through the first kilometre in 2:56.36, by which time the pack was spread right out behind the lead group of Jebet,

Hyvin Kiyeng and second pacer Aisha Praught. Jebet had taken over by the second kilometre, which they passed in 5:54.16.

As they hit the bell in 7:50 the record was in sight, but required a faultless closing lap. That played out until the final barrier, where a slight clip almost threw Jebet to the ground.

Yet she recovered, found her stride and celebrated wildly as she crossed the line. “I’m very happy,” the 19-year-old Bahraini said.

“I tried many times to beat the world record, and today we decided to push each other to go for a good time. I was not expecting such a big difference with the record. I think I finished my season today.”

What a way to do it. Second and third were as they were in Rio: Kiyeng, who had run alongside Jebet until three laps remained, finished in 9:01.96; US record-holder Emma Coburn closed strongly for third in 9:10.86.

There were four personal bests behind those three, including a 9:14.28 Oceanian record for Genevieve LaCaze in sixth.

Bett bounces back

Bett stumbled in his heat in Rio, but the Kenyan beat the Olympic champion Kerron Clement with a strong finish in the night’s opening track event.

The two were level coming off the bend, but Clement lost his rhythm approaching the final hurdle – and Bett was able to pounce.

The win and season’s best (48.01) will be scant consolation for the Kenyan after his Olympic chagrin, though it does move him fifth in the Diamond Race with one race remaining.

Clement finished second (48.19) and now tops the rankings, yet with only six points between him and fourth place Yasmani Copello (third tonight in 48.24), the Zurich finale should be a cracker.

“I felt so relaxed. I hope I can break it soon (the Kenyan record),” said Bett second in Lausanne in 48,68 on Thursday behind Estonian Rasmus Magi (48.59).

Olympic silver medalist Benson Mucheru improved the Kenyan record to 47.78 seconds in the final in Rio.

Kipyegon second in 1500m

Kenyan Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon finished second to Laura Muir in a classy field with a 3:55.22 1500m victory at the Meeting de Paris, the 12th stop of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League series.

The 23-year-old from Great Britain shattered her own national record with a run that propelled her to 13th on the world all-time list with her world-leading performance.

After being led through the first 800m in 2:09, Muir took to the front when second pacer Judy Kiyeng dropped out at 1000 metres.

At that stage she led world indoor champion Sifan Hassan by five metres, with Kipyegon following just behind.

It takes much to hold off that pair, and Muir, who was seventh in the final in Rio, showed she had the goods with a determined 59.99 last lap.

It was the second time this season Muir broke the British record, having beaten Kelly Holmes’ mark for the first time at the IAAF Diamond League fixture in London in July.

The pace and the heat took their toll on Hassan; Kipyegon passed her in the home straight to take second in 3:56.72.

Hassan held on for a season’s best of 3:57.13. Four other women, including Olympic bronze medallist Jenny Simpson of the US, came home within four minutes in what transpired as the fastest 1500m contest of 2016.

Muir is just eight points shy of Diamond Race leader Kipyegon with just Thursday’s race in Zurich left to run.

Kipketer wins 800m 

Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer showed no signs of Rio fatigue as he took the win in the men’s 800m in a personal best of 1:42.87, the third fastest time in the world this year.

After being led through the first lap in 50.07 – at which point USA’s world indoor champion Boris Berian pulled up with a hobble – and hitting 600m in 1:16.37, Kipketer took up a position wide with Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France tight to the rail.

That wide line looked to have cost the Kenyan with 50 metres to go as Olympic silver medallist Taoufik Makhloufi found space on the inside.

But Kipketer held to take his second consecutive IAAF Diamond League win ahead of Makhloufi.

His fellow Kenyan Ferguson Rotich was fourth in 1:43.43, and now leads the Diamond Race standings going into the final event.

Kejelcha wins 3000m

The men’s 3000m event was similarly fast, seeing Yomif Kejelcha win with a world U20 record* of 7:28.19.

Abdalaati Iguider had opened up a 15-metre gap as he hit 2000 metres in 4:59.20.

The effort he expended by sticking to the pacemakers would cost him, though. The Moroccan began to labour at the bell, at which point the tall figure of Kejelcha had already cut the gap, looking strong.

The 19-year-old Ethiopian moved into the lead with 150 metres to run, collapsing over the line in the fastest time of the year. Iguider was able to hold for second, earning a personal best of 7:30.09 for his troubles.

A further seven lifetime best times came through behind, including a Bahraini record 7:32.02 for Albert Rop.

Compiled from IAAF