Burundi runner goes No.5 all-time at 3000m while sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah impresses again in the women’s events at the Diamond League in Paris
Francine Niyonsaba went No.5 on the world all-time rankings for the women’s 3000m with another strong run at the Meeting de Paris on Saturday (Aug 28).
With 8:19.08 she beat Ejgayehu Taye – as the Ethiopian runner-up went No.6 on the world all-time rankings with 8:19.52.
For Niyonsaba, who went through halfway (1500m) in 4:11.6, it was also a world lead and meeting record.
“This race and this victory mean a lot to me,” she said. “I worked very hard for that. I knew before the race that it could be very difficult to win tonight because many girls are so strong on this distance. But I was ready.
“I’m happy with everything today – the race, the time, the victory.”
Margaret Kipkemboi of Kenya was third in 8:21.53 and American Elise Cranny fourth in 8:30.30, just ahead of Fantu Worku of Ethiopia and Eilish McColgan – the Briton just outside her 8:31.00 PB with 8:31.36.
A fortnight earlier Niyonsaba gave the world record for two miles a scare with 9:00.75 at the Pre Classic in Eugene to beat world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder Letesenbet Gidey.
As an 800m runner Niyonsaba won the world indoor titles in 2016 and 2018 and finished runner-up in the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships behind Caster Semenya.
However she was forced to move up in distance due to the new rules relating to testosterone levels and at the Tokyo Games she placed fifth in the 10,000m final in 30:41.93.
Judging by her form in Eugene and now in Paris, she would have been a factor at 5000m in Tokyo as well but after seemingly making the Olympic final in that event she was disqualified for a lane infringement in her heat.
“Going from 800m to longer distance is not easy,” she said after her win in Paris. “But I trained a lot. I still have some decisions to take about my training for longer distances than 800m.”
World all-time 3000m rankings
Wang Junxia (CHN) 8:06.11 Beijing, 1993
Qu Junxia (CHN) 8:12.18 Beijing, 1993
Zhang Linli (CHN) 8:16.50 Beijing, 1993
Sifan Hassan (NED) 8:18.49 Palo Alto, 2019
Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) 8:19.08 Paris, 2021
Ejgayehu Taye (ETH) 8:19.52 Paris, 2021
Liyan Ma (CHN) 8:19.78 Beijing, 1993
Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER) 8:20.07 Palo Alto, 2019
Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) 8:20.27 Palo Alto, 2019
Hellen Obiri (KEN) 8:20.68, Doha, 2014
The crowd in the stadium were denied a 100m clash between Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah after the former pulled out following her win in Lausanne two days earlier.
In her absence, Olympic champion Thompson-Herah was a class apart as she blasted to victory in 10.72 (1.3).
Runner-up was Shericka Jackson of Jamaica in 10.97 with Dina Asher-Smith third in 11.06 and GB team-mate Daryll Neita sixth in 11.12.
“I am thankful I crossed the line healthy,” said Thompson-Herah. “I am just focusing on myself – on my start, on my execution and to be confident over the line.
“I know everybody is thinking I am targeting the world record, but I know it is close but for this season I am already super happy. Whatever I come close to this record, I am super happy for that at the end of the season. This time is good for me.”
In the field Mariya Lasitskene suffered a rare defeat as the Olympic high jump champion was beaten by the Olympic silver medallist Nicola McDermott of Australia.
Both women jumped 1.98m but McDermott won on countback after clearing the height first time, whereas it took Lasitskene three tries.
“I love to see the full stadiums and I love when the people have the chance to enjoy the athletics,” said McDermott. “My dream was to become a high jumper and I am enjoying every moment.”
Another Olympic champion who was beaten in the field was discus thrower Valarie Allman of the United States. She threw a best of 64.51m in the ‘final 3’ round for third place behind runner-up Yaime Perez of Cuba, who threw 65.31m in the last round, plus winner Sandra Perkovic, who threw 65.68m in the last round and had a best of 66.08m from round two.
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Elsewhere Marileidy Paulino of Dominican Republic won the 400m in 50.12 ahead of Sada Williams of Barbados in 50.30 as Allyson Felix of the United States was third in 50.47 and 400m hurdles specialist Femke Bol of the Netherlands was fourth in 50.59.
Danielle Williams of Jamaica took the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.50 from Nadine Visser, who ran a Dutch record of 12.58.