Entering Friday’s Florence Diamond League meet, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon was already considered the best women’s 1500-meter runner in history. She won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the event in 2016 and 2021, plus world titles in 2017 and 2022.

But the 29-year-old Kenyan solidified her G.O.A.T. status by clocking 3 minutes, 49.11 seconds to take nearly a second off the women’s 1500m world record. The previous mark, set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015, was 3:50.07.

“This was really important because this was something I was still missing in my career,” Kipyegon said. “Getting this, it will really motivate me. I left the legacy for the next generation – they can say she broke the world record, she was the Olympic and the world champion.”

Kipyegon is one of the most well-respected track and field athletes currently competing — and it showed on Friday. All of her competitors — including 2021 Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir — gathered around her to celebrate the accomplishment.


(Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

After the race, Kipyegon — who gave birth to daughter Alyn in June 2018 — dedicated her world record to “all the mothers.”

The world record was on Kipyegon’s mind entering Florence. Unlike at the Olympics and world championships, Diamond League races use pacers who help facilitate fast marks.

“After 1000 (meters), when the pacemaker went out, I just pushed myself towards the finish line,” Kipyegon said. “That was what my manager told me – anything is possible – after the pacemaker, just run your race. And that is what I did.”

Kipyegon nearly broke the world record last August, missing it by 0.3 seconds at a Diamond League stop in Monaco.

Sha’Carri Richardson made a statement on Friday, recording her biggest victory in two years. Competing at the first Diamond League stop of the season in Doha, Qatar, Richardson won the women’s 100m in 10.76 seconds, the world’s best time in 2023. It is also the first Diamond League victory of her career.

“I found my peace back on the track, and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore,” Richardson said in her post-race interview.

Richardson defeated a field that included five-time Olympic medalist Shericka Jackson (2nd) and two-time Olympic medalist Dina Asher-Smith (3rd), plus fellow Americans TeeTee Terry (4th), Teahna Daniels (6th), Melissa Jefferson (7th) and Abby Steiner (8th). Video of the race is embedded below.

Richardson is the fourth fastest American woman all-time, behind Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988, 10.49), Carmelita Jeter (2009, 10.64), and Marion Jones (10.65, 1998). Richardson’s 100 meter personal best (wind legal) was recorded in April 2021 (10.72).

Still, the 23-year-old has yet to compete at a major global championship. Richardson, the 2019 NCAA champion, won the women’s 100m at U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021, but her result was disqualified after she tested positive for marijuana (a substance that is banned in-competition).

She struggled in 2022, failing to qualify for last year’s World Championships after she was eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Outdoor Nationals.

But Richardson’s result on Friday is a promising sign for 2023. The biggest track and field competition this season is the World Championships, which will be held in Budapest, Hungary, in August. In order to qualify for the individual 100 meter race, Richardson will need to finish in the top three during the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in July.

“Y’all say I’m back,” Richardson said in an Instagram video ahead of the race in Doha. “I’m not back. I’m better.”