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Difficult day for Jamaicans at Florence Diamond League

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon breaks 1500m world record

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2023 | 12:41 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter

While it was a difficult outing for the Jamaicans at yesterday’s Diamond League meet in Florence, it was highlighted by a world record-breaking performance from Olympic and World 1500 metres champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya.

Only three Jamaicans lined up for the third Diamond League meet of the season and none of the athletes managed to earn a top three finish. In her second Diamond League meet of the season, 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Rushell Clayton finished sixth in the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 54.71 seconds. The race was won by World Championships silver medallist Femke Bol of the Netherlands who opened her Diamond League season in a meet record and world-leading time of 52.43. Shamier Little was second in 53.38 while her American compatriot Anna Hall was third in a personal best time of 54.42. All the athletes in the field attained season’s best except Clayton whose best time this year was 54.15 at the Diamond League meet in Morocco last week.

Olympic and World Championship relay medallist Candice McLeod was seventh in the women’s 400m in a time of 52.09. It was a race that was won by Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland in 50.41. Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands was second in 50.75 and American Lynna Irby-Jackson was third in 50.84. Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake closed off Jamaica’s participation in Florence, finishing seventh in the men’s 100m in a season’s best time of 10.15 seconds. Reigning world champion Fred Kerley of the United States got his second 100m win in as many weeks, clocking 9.94, getting the better of Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, the fastest man in the world this year who was second in 10.05. Another American, Trayvon Bromell, was third in a season’s best time of 10.09.

But it was the final race in Florence that produced the performance of the meet as Kipyegon shattered the women’s 1500m record en route to victory, clocking three minutes 49.11 seconds. Britain’s Laura Muir was second in 3:57.09 while Jessica Hull of Australia was third in a national record of 3:57.29. Kipyegon broke Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba’s eight-year record of 3:50.07