July 20, 2018 / 9:17 PM / 3 months ago

Athletics: Chepkoech shatters world record on fast night in Monaco

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.

Athletics - Diamond League - Monaco - Stade Louis II, Monaco - July 20, 2018 Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech celebrates winning the Women's 3000m Steeplechase and setting a new World Record REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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

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