Herne Hill Harrier’s 3:56.72 was one of the highlights of some swift metric mile semi-finals in Budapest

After out-sprinting Laura Muir to the British title in Manchester and setting an 800m PB of 1:58.00 at the London Diamond League, Katie Snowden’s brilliant season continued in Budapest this week when she clocked 3:56.72 in a lightning quick women’s 1500m semi-final.

The time places her No.2 on the UK all-time rankings behind Laura Muir’s 3:54.50 and is an English record as she beat Kelly Holmes’ mark of 3:57.90, which was set when Holmes won Olympic gold in 2004.

Such was the quality of Snowden’s time, it would have been good enough to win every world title from 1983 to 2017. Yet she only finished fifth in the semi behind Faith Kipyegon’s 3:55.14 as Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia was second, Sifan Hassan third and Laura Muir fourth – the latter clocking 3:56.36. Amazingly all 11 finishers were inside 4:01 with Adelle Tracey setting a Jamaican record of 3:58.77 but failing to make Tuesday evening’s final.

Tracey, in fact, was one of three runners who broke four minutes for the first time but will not run in the final. The other semi-final, meanwhile, was won by Nelly Chepchirchir of Kenya in a more modest 4:02.14 as Melissa Courtney-Bryant finished fifth in 4:02.79 with a sub-60sec final lap to ensure Britain has three athletes in the final.

Katie Snowden with Laura Muir (Getty)

Snowden did not realise her time had put her No.2 on the UK all-time rankings when AW approached her after the race. But she said: “I’m so happy. It’s been a long time coming. I think people who have seen me training in St Moritz in the last couple of weeks have been saying that I can make the final here. It feels so nice when all the training is reflected in the result.”

Her best time before Budapest was 4:00.04 but the University of Nottingham geography graduate has been full-time since the Tokyo Olympics and her hard work largely at altitude with an Under Armour team in Flagstaff, Arizona, is paying off.

On her semi-final, she added: “I was expecting it to be sub-four-minute pace and my semi looked the more stacked of the two. I was prepared for it, though, as it was no surprise. I thought the line-up was very tough on paper but I thought ‘I can still do this’. I felt like I am a 3:56-57 runner and it was all about having the confidence to do it.”

After breaking the world records at 1500m, one mile and 5000m this summer, Kipyegon will be the favourite in Tuesday’s final.

Similarly, Jakob Ingebrigtsen is favoured to take the men’s 1500m title on Wednesday. The Olympic champion sat back in the pack in his semi-final on Sunday in a change from his usual front-running tactics. Instead, Britain’s Josh Kerr went to the front to keep the pace honest before Ingebrigtsen surged into a better position around the final bend – waving to the crowd to urge them to cheer as he passed his rivals – with a 50.66 last lap before easing through the finish in 3:34.98 just ahead of Kerr with Cole Hocker of the United States third.

Timothy Cheruiyot, the 2019 world champion from Kenya, went out as he finished ninth. Elliot Giles of Britain was 12th after struggling with a calf injury since the London Diamond League last month.

In the other semi-final there were further surprises as Spanish duo Mo Katir and Adel Mechaal went out. Up ahead, American Yared Nuguse won in 3:32.69 from Abel Kipsang with 18-year-old Niels Laros setting a Dutch record of 3:32.74 in third.

In sixth, Neil Gourley rode his luck a little after getting boxed but weaved his way through to a qualifying position and will be in the medal mix in what will be one of the most exciting finals of the week.

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