Monaco always delivers (and so does Faith Kipyegon).
I just don’t know where to start! The race? Faith Kipyegon? Monaco?
I will start with Freweyni Hailu, who rather let the side down tonight. I know the Ethiopian ran brilliantly and finished third, but she was the only one of the 13 athletes in the race not to run a PR. 13 athletes, 12 PRs, 7 national records, 3 area records, and one world record!
Six weeks on from setting two world records in eight days, Faith Kipyegon has another to add to her collection after running 4:07.64 to set a new world mile record, taking almost five seconds off the world mile record of 4:12.33 set by Sifan Hassan on the same track in 2019. Your correspondent was privileged to be in the stadium for all three Kipyegon 2023 records and to speak to Faith after each race.
Running behind two pacemakers who hit 400m in 1:01.76 and 800m in 2:04.10, Kipyegon then took charge, keeping pace with the trackside lights indicating world record pace. She was ahead of the lights at the bell and then kicked again.
The top five were:
1 Faith KIPYEGON 4:07.64
2 Ciara MAGEEAN 4:14.58
3 Freweyni HAILU 4:14.79
4 Laura MUIR 4:15.24
5 Jessica HULL 4:15.34
The winner commented, referring to the hugs and group photos afterward, “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 say ‘thank God for this’”.
She added: “I really enjoyed the race. I wanted to chase the world record; thank God, it was amazing. When I started this season, my goal was to just break the 1500 WR. That was in my head and in my mind. Thank God I also did the 1 mile and the 5000”.
She then revealed that she would chase a double of 1500 and 5k in Budapest.
Ciara Mageean from Ireland – Northern Ireland for the Commonwealth Games but Republic of Ireland for other events – who finished really strongly said of her race: “To be honest, I think it´s been my best season yet. I have opened it strong and have stayed consistent. Today I ran an Irish Record over the mile. I am really proud of myself for that. I just focused on my race; I could do it. I am really glad I didn´t fail. It was my 3rd time in Monaco, and I really love it; it´s so beautiful. It´s one of the fastest tracks in the world, even if it was a little too warm for an Irish person”.
Laura Muir was in all three Kipyegon world record races this year and said: “Monaco always delivers. I felt really positive going into the race and ready to run well. I am so happy to run a 4:15 and break the British record. I’d love to have finished a couple of places higher, but that time is very precious, and I’m happy. I knew I had to start off more conservative and deliberately left that gap. I wanted to be conservative in the race’s first half and stronger in the second, and I was. But I ended up leading the rest of the pack, but I was ready for that, and it was fine. But to run that time, doing all the work myself, I was very happy”.
See my post-race interviews in Monaco.
Faith Kipyegon https://twitter.com/i/status/1682483056366571526
Ciara Mageean https://twitter.com/i/status/1682503898198601728
Laura Muir https://youtu.be/ssk-LAiSoTQ