Muir breaks British mark as world records fall in Paris


Laura Muir

Laura Muir’s previous 1500m best was the 3:54.50 she ran to win Olympic silver in 2021 [Getty Images]

Laura Muir set a new British 1500m mark as rival Faith Kipyegon smashed the world record at the Paris Diamond League, while Yaroslava Mahuchikh broke a 37-year mark in the women’s high jump.

Muir, 31, ran three minutes 53.79 seconds for third place to improve the national record she set in winning Olympic silver in Tokyo three years ago.

Kenyan Kipyegon clocked a sensational 3:49.04 to claim victory ahead of Australian Jessica Hull as the 30-year-old now eyes a third successive Olympic title in the French capital next month.

British champion Georgia Bell clocked a huge personal best of 3:56.54 for fifth as she builds towards her Games debut, while Katie Snowden was ninth in 3:58.13.

Ukraine’s world high jump champion Mahuchikh, 22, underlined her gold-medal credentials for Paris by breaking Belarusian Stefka Kostadinova’s 1987 record of 2.09 metres with a first-time clearance at 2.10m.

Briton Morgan Lake finished ninth with a leap over 1.92m.

Elizabeth Bird ran a season’s best 9:09.07 to take third in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, won by Bahrain’s world champion Winfred Yavi in 9:03.68.

Laviai Nielsen ran a personal best 50.76 secs for fifth in a high-quality women’s 400m, won by the Dominican Republic’s world champion Marileidy Paulino in 49.20 secs.

Two Diamond League meetings remain before the Paris 2024 Olympics begin.

Monaco hosts the ninth event in the series on Friday, before athletes have a final opportunity to fine-tune their preparations in London on Saturday, 20 July.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Keely Hodgkinson took victory in the women’s 800m at the FBK Games in the Netherlands in 1:57.36.

Kipyegon & Mahuchikh make statements as Olympics approach

Following a stunning 2023 season in which she set world records over 1500m, 5,000m and the mile, Kipyegon had not raced this year until Kenya’s Olympic trials last month – but she has quickly reminded her rivals why she remains the heavy favourite to add to her six global golds.

Only Hull dared follow as Kipyegon raced the pace-setting lights on the inside of the track in pursuit of further history, while Muir timed her effort perfectly to finish strong and boost her belief she can once again make the Olympic podium.

“To run a British record in the city where the Olympics will be in less than a month’s time is pretty exciting, so I’m very, very happy,” Muir said.

“I think it will give me a lot of confidence going into the Games. To win an Olympic medal now will be so, so hard but it would be an amazing achievement – so I’m just going to go out there and give it my all.”

Mahuchikh won bronze on her Olympic debut as a teenager in Tokyo three years ago and will head to Paris as the one to beat after her historic jump.

The Ukrainian had recorded the joint-fourth highest jump in history with a personal best leap over 2.07m, after she secured victory over Australian Nicola Olyslagers by clearing 2.03m.

Maintaining that momentum, Mahuchikh, who two years ago was forced to flee her war-torn home country following Russia’s invasion, raced away to celebrate with her coach after taking down the world record at the first attempt.

“Coming into this competition, I had feelings that I could jump 2.07m and maybe 2.10m,” she said. “Finally I signed Ukraine to the history of world athletics.”

Armand Duplantis was unable to make it a trio of world records in Paris but still took victory in the men’s pole vault.

The Swede broke the world record for an eighth time at the opening Diamond League of the season in April and has gone close to improving that mark of 6.24m on several occasions, most recently at the European Championships.

Winner of back-to-back world golds since becoming Olympic champion at the age of 21 in Tokyo three years ago, Duplantis sealed victory with a clearance at 6.00m.

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