MONTE CARLO (Reuters) - Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech obliterated the world record in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase by more than eight seconds in a stunning Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.
Six other season leading performances were set or tied in the meet.
Already the fastest in the world this year, Chepkoech, 27, won in a time of eight minutes 44.32 seconds to break the previous record mark of 8 minutes 52.78 set by Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet in 2016.
“I am so grateful,” Chepkoech told reporters. “I said from the beginning, from the first lap, and I was watching the time, and I knew I was going to break the world record.”
Chepkoech, whose previous best time was 8:59.36 in Paris last month, finished fourth in both the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 London world championships.
American world silver medalist Courtney Frerichs took second in a North American record of 9:00.85.
“That race was incredible,” Frerichs said. “Eight seconds under the world record. It’s such a huge step for the event.”
American Noah Lyles, meanwhile, added a personal best in the 200m, running 19.65 seconds for another season-leading performance.
“I didn’t get my best start, but I was able to pull it together,” said the American, who celebrated his 21st birthday this week.
In other world leading runs for 2018, Bahamian Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo ran a lifetime best 48.97 seconds, Botswana’s Nijel Amos won the 800m in 1:42.14 and Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot clocked 3:28.41 in the 1,500m.
Moroccan world silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali took the men’s steeplechase in 7:58.15 and Russia’s Danil Lysenko equaled the season’s best in the high jump with a leap of 2.40 meters.
Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya continued her dominance of the women’s 800m, winning her 26th consecutive final in 1:54.60. The South African has not lost over the distance since 2015.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond