In the hours before the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco began, thunder rolled across the Cote d’Azur. But it was left to two of the fastest women in the world — Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Faith Kipyegon — to provide the lightning on Wednesday, according to World Athletics.
It said World 100m champion Fraser-Pryce is affectionately known as “Mommy Rocket,” and Kipyegon has adopted the logo “Mother Stronger.”
“They both make a mockery of the theories of a previous age that mothers could not be great athletes,” World Athletics said.
It said Olympic and world champion Kipyegon “broke every 1500m record in the book, except the one she most desired, as she flew around the track in a different race from the rest of the field.”
World Athletics said the diminutive Kenyan tracked the pacemakers through the first 900m, by which time she had left the other competitors far in her wake.
“For the last 600m she had only the pacing lights for company and knew she was within touching distance of Genzebe Dibaba’s 2015 world record of 3:50.07,” World Athletics said.
It said when Kipyegon crossed the finish line, she had broken the Kenyan record, the meeting record and her personal best, “but had fallen an agonizing 0.3 short of the world mark.
“She remains the second-fastest in history but is getting closer to No.1 with every attempt,” World Athletics said.
It said the world record is the only honor to elude Kipyegon, who has won both the Olympic and world 1500m titles after returning from the birth of her first child in 2019.
Second-placed Heather MacLean was more than eight seconds behind but still under four minutes (3:58.89), as was her US compatriot Elise Cranny in third (3:59.06), World Athletics said.
It said World 100m champion Fraser-Pryce continued to defy the aging process, setting a world-leading 10.62 to win by a full meter from world 200m champion Shericka Jackson, who set a personal best of 10.71 as she tried to keep pace with her compatriot.
With this performance, World Athletics said Fraser-Pryce became the first woman to break 10.7 six times in one season.
“To be able to run 10.6 consistently means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s remarkable. It is very hard to keep the speed on this high level.
“I’m in my late 30’s, and I think I feel like I have more to give,” she added. “I look forward to doing my personal best (10.60) for the rest of the season.”
World Athletics said Fraser-Pryce also inspired an African record from Marie-Jose Ta Lou (10.72) in third place and an equal personal best of 10.81 from Aleia Hobbs in fourth.