Fans who had filled the Louis II stadium in Monaco were rewarded with top-level action that included a world record by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon in the women’s mile and several areas and national records across the events of the evening.

In the first middle-distance event on the track, Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal ran a world-leading time of 1:43.22 to win the men’s 800m race.  With 150m to go, Canada’s Marco Arop appeared to struggle in the after-effects of the fast start in which he had followed the pacesetter through the first 400m in 49.06, and Kinyalmal would begin to close the gap on him rapidly before overtaking to win the race. Algeria’s Slimane Moula also overtook Arop to finish second in 1:43.40 as the latter finished third in 1:43.51.

Another incredible world record by Faith Kipyegon came in the women’s mile, so soon after, she set the 1500m and the 5000m world records last month.

The pacemakers had gone out a little too fast just after the gun went off, but Kipyegon gradually caught up with them, and soon there were four at the front. Freweyni Hailu, Kipyegon, and the two pacemakers had created a gap against the rest of the field. But, with two laps to go, Kipyegon was alone at the front, ahead of the wave lights.

She would stop the clock in a superhuman time of 4:07.64. There were six area records and several PBs behind her. Ciara Mageean registered a new Irish record of 4:14.58 in second, ahead of Hailu, who finished third in 4:14.79.

“It was a blessing to do this with these ladies. I can see that they are all happy for me, and it is so emotional. It is a blessing. It just does not happen every time you run. I have to thank God for this. I really enjoyed the race. I came for that, I wanted to chase the world record, and thank God, it was amazing. And, just before the World Championships,” Kipyegon said after the race.

After Kipyegon confirmed that the conditions were perfect for setting world records, the men lined up for another highly anticipated 5000m race.

At the start, Mounir Akbache stretched his hand across the field, pointing to the wave lights behind them in the first 100m of the race. They needed to slow down a bit for the pacing to be effective.

Hagos Gebrehewit takes the 5,000 meters, photo by Kevin Morris

After crossing the first 1000m in 2:32.62, another pacer, Justin Kipkoech, took them through the 2000m in 5:05.77. The pace would slow down a little after the pacers dropped out, and Kenya’s Jacob Krop decided to push it a little at the front, but he didn’t have another gear to engage when Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet, the 2013 World Silver medalist and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, made a sudden surge with about 500m to go and maintained the lead to win the race in 12:42.18. Berihu Aregawi followed for second place in 12:42.58 as their fellow Ethiopian Tilahun Bekele completed a podium sweep in 12:42.70. Mohammed Katir registered a new European record of 12:45.01 in fourth place.

After making his intentions of restoring the Kenyan steeplechase known at the Kenyan trials, Kenya’s youngster, Simon Koech, let his legs do the talking tonight in the men’s 3000m steeplechase as he won it in 8:04.19 against Abraham Kibiwot’s 8:09.54. Ethiopia’s Abraham finished third in 8:10.56