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Ingebrigtsen and Hassan on record-breaking form in Florence

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Published in Athletics
Thursday, 10 June 2021 14:04
Young Norwegian destroys European 5000m mark while world champion follows up historic 10,000m performance with remarkable 1500m Diamond League win

Jakob Ingebrigtsen produced a landmark performance as he smashed the European record to win the 5000m in superb style at an eventful Wanda Diamond League meeting in Florence.

At the Golden Gala meeting, which had been moved from its usual venue in Rome due to the Euro 2020 football championships, the young European champion who had never previously broken 13 minutes for the distance produced his own brand of fancy footwork as his late surge saw him clock a brilliant 12:48.45.

Watched by World Athletics president Seb Coe on the 40th anniversary of his 800m world record 1:41.73 set in the same city, it was a run which destroyed Mohammed Mourhit’s 12:49.71 – a mark which was set almost exactly a month before Ingebrigsten was even born.

The 20-year-old’s winning time was also the 12th-fastest 5000m performance in history and saw off the 12:49.02 of Ethiopian Olympic silver medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet, the man who had finished fourth over 10,000m at his national Olympic trials two days previously, while Canada’s Mo Ahmed came third in 12:50.12.

Mohamed Katir broke the Spanish record with 12:50.79 in fourth, while there was a surprise sixth place for Joshua Cheptegei as the world record-holder ran 12:54.69.

Another endurance athlete to catch the eye was Sifan Hassan, who followed up her 10,000m world record-breaking run of last Sunday by scorching to a world lead in the 1500m.

The Dutch athlete, whose 29:06.82 in Hengelo was beaten by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey just 54 hours later, looked far from fatigued by her 25-lap efforts as she clocked a remarkable meeting record of 3:53.62 to win a thrilling contest with Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, whose national record of 3:53.91 was only good enough for second spot.

British record-holder and European champion Laura Muir, who had been in touch with the pair until the closing 200m, was third in 3:55.59, the second-fastest time of her career.

Sifan Hassan reacts to her 1500m victory. Picture: Getty Images

World 1500m champion Hassan, who is expected to target a 5000m and 10,000m double at the Tokyo Olympics, said: “I did not prepare for speed, I trained more for the 10,000m and I thought that Faith Kipyegon was going to win. At 800m we were so fast, but I tried to do my best. I am surprised about the time.”

Muir was delighted with her performance. “It’s very short of my British record (3:55.22),” she said. “To be able to run this fast in the time leading up to the Olympics, it feels really great.”

Her fellow Briton, Eilish McColgan, who had also been in 10,000m action at the weekend when winning the European Cup and British Championships race, was sixth in 4:02.12, while compatriot Katie Snowden was 10th in 4:03.86.

Dina Asher-Smith celebrates her 200m victory. Picture: Getty Images

There was another meeting record and another fine British performance in the women’s 200m as Dina Asher-Smith produced the second-fastest time of the year when storming to victory.

Before the event, the world champion had admitted to feeling a certain amount of race rustiness so far this season but, on a still, warm night she looked in complete control during a race which she won in 22.06 (+0.2) from Marie Josée Ta Lou, the world 100m bronze medallist also producing a season’s best when running 22.58. Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji managed her fastest run of the season, too, with 22.60, while Britain’s Beth Dobbin was fifth in 22.88.

“It was really important to have a good race here today,” said Asher-Smith. “Obviously, it’s been really hard over the past year and a bit because of the pandemic so I’m really proud to be able to put in that kind of time and I definitely have more in me.”

In the men’s 100m, South African Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine won in a time of 10.08 (-0.1) to edge out Britain’s CJ Ujah, whose consistent season continued with a run of 10.10. Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi was third in 10.16.

Soufiane El Bakkali produced a world lead in his first 3000m steeplechase of the year, the 2019 world bronze medallist clocking 8:08.54 to hold off Ethiopian Tadese Bikila Takele (8:10.56) and a PB of 8:11.65 for fellow Moroccan Mohamed Tindouft. World and Olympic champion Conselsus Kipruto, however, pulled up with injury.

In a strong men’s 110m hurdles, Olympic champion Omar McLeod continued his winning form, following up victory at the FBK Games in Hengelo last weekend by clocking a world lead when hitting the line first in 13.01 (-0.1). There was a season’s best in second place for Andy Pozzi, the Italian-based Briton clocking 13.25 to edge out Frenchman Wilhem Belocian’s season’s best 13.31.

A 41-year-old meeting record fell in the women’s 100m hurdles, when Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won in a time of 12.38. The Puerto Rican has now produced four of the five fastest times in the world this year.

Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas was second in 12.80, with Bulgarian Elvira Herman third in a season’s best 12.85.

Femke Bol’s Olympic preparations appear to be going to plan, meanwhile, after the Dutch athlete produced a national record of 53.44 to win the women’s 400m hurdles. The European indoor 400m champion was a convincing winner, coming home ahead of Ukrainian Anna Ryzhykova’s PB of 54.19 and the 54.79 from Britain’s Jess Turner.

In the men’s 400m, world silver medallist Anthony José Zambrano won in 44.76, ahead of Italian Re Davide’s 45.80 and Britain’s Matt Hudson-Smith, who clocked 45.93.

In the field, Leonardo Fabbri threw a season’s best 21.71m in the second round of the men’s shot put but it was not enough to give him overall victory.

Despite the Italian throwing furthest on the night, under the controversial “final three” format New Zealand’s 2017 world champion Tom Walsh was crowned winner with his last-round 21.47m. Serbian Armin Sinancevic, who had thrown 21.60m in round four, was second with a last throw of 20.93m and Fabbri third with 19.82m.

Ivana Spanovic also won the women’s long jump, but without leaping furthest on the night. Her 6.74m had been bettered by Malaika Mihambo (6.82m) and Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (6.79m) in earlier rounds but it was the world indoor champion who won the final jump shootout with a distance of 6.56m. Mihambo managed 6.33m while Bekh-Romanchuk fouled her attempt.

There was victory in the women’s discus for the two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic. She had thrown 68.31m to secure her place in the final three, where she threw furthest again – her effort of 66.90m proving to be enough to take victory ahead of Cuban Yaimé Pérez (65.37m) and German Kristin Pudenz (61.70m).

Another Italian to take third place was Gianmarco Tamberi, but the European indoor silver medallist put on a typically exuberant show during the high jump competition.

First place went to neutral athlete Ilya Ivanyuk after his first-time clearance of 2.33m, the same height which Australian Brandon Starc went over at the second time of asking.

Tamberi also went over 2.33m, at his third attempt, while none of the top three could clear 2.36m and Starc’s last-ditch jump at 2.38m was unsuccessful.

The women’s pole vault was won by Anzhelika Sidorova, the Russian competing as a neutral athlete, thanks to her season’s best clearance of 4.91m.

Bulgaria’s Iryna Zhuk was second with 4.71m while Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi looked out of sorts in third with a best of 4.66m, the same height which was managed by British champion Holly Bradshaw.

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