On an evening of stunning middle-distance performances at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay produced the highlight by taking two seconds off the world indoor 1500m record*, winning at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in 3:53.09.
The world bronze medallist followed the swift early tempo as the pacemaker led the field through 400m in 58.97 and 800m in 2:05.94. With three laps to go, Tsegay had a four-second lead over double European indoor champion Laura Muir but she showed no signs of slowing down, passing through 1000m in 2:37.36.
The clock read 2:52 with two laps to go and Tsegay maintained her pace with another lap just outside 30 seconds. She dug in for the final circuit and crossed the line in 3:53.09, taking more than two seconds off the world indoor record set by compatriot Genzebe Dibaba in Karlsruhe in 2014.
Muir finished second in a British indoor record of 3:59.58 with team-mate Melissa Courtney-Bryant taking third in 4:04.79.
“I’m very happy to set a world indoor record,” said Tsegay. “I have been training really hard and I set myself a target to break the world indoor record.”
Tsegay’s record-breaking performance was book-ended by two other athletes who very nearly broke world records.
Ethiopian steeplechase specialist Getnet Wale won the men’s 3000m in 7:24.98, the second-fastest indoor performance in history, while USA’s Grant Holloway won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.32, just 0.02 shy of the world indoor record.