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.
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.
SHE SMASHED THE WORLD RECORD! 🤯Kenya's Faith Kipyegon breaks the world record in the women's 1500m with a time of 3:49.11. #FlorenceDL pic.twitter.com/NmEevPjazd— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) June 2, 2023
SHE SMASHED THE WORLD RECORD! 🤯Kenya's Faith Kipyegon breaks the world record in the women's 1500m with a time of 3:49.11. #FlorenceDL pic.twitter.com/NmEevPjazd