PARIS – Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma smashed a 19-year-old world record in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase at the Diamond League meeting in Paris on Friday.
Girma, twice a silver medallist at the world championships and once at the Olympics, clocked 7min 52.11sec, shattering the previous best of 7:53.63 set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in Brussels in 2004.
“I’m feeling so happy. Happy and very proud,” Girma said. “I felt so fast during the race, so confident. The world record is not a surprise, I planned to beat it tonight in Paris. It’s a result of a full determination.”
It was a third world record on a remarkable night of racing in the French capital after Kenyan Faith Kipyegon broke the women’s 5,000m mark and Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen sliced four and a half seconds off the record for the rarely-run men’s 2 miles.
Girma, 22, completely dominated the race, finishing 17 seconds ahead of second-placed Ryuji Miura, who set a new Japanese record of 8:09.91. Daniel Arce of Spain was third in 8:10.63.
As with the other records, Girma was aided by Wavelight technology, the infield lights which help runners pace their race. – AFP