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Monaco Delight for GB

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Laura Muir

17 July 2015

On a night on majestic middle distance running in  the Stade Louis II, Laura Muir (Coach: Andy Young) and Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar)  did themselves and British athletics more than proud as Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba smashed Qu Yunxia’s 22-year-old world record in the women’s 1500m and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop became the third fastest man in history at the same distance.

Muir has been in outstanding form all summer, setting personal bests at 800m and 3,000m, and the 22-year-old produced the run of her life as she smashed through the four minutes barrier to climb to second place behind Kelly Holmes on the UK all-time list. In Paris Diamond League last year the Dundee Hawkhill Harrier broke Yvonne Murray’s Scottish record with a time of 4:00.07 and in the latest IAAF Diamond League meeting of the 2015 season she improved that to 3:58.66.

In doing so, Muir became the fifth British woman to break four minutes and the second fastest in history, behind Holmes, whose British record stands at 3:57.90. She finished in fifth place in Monaco.

Dibaba picked up the threads of the form that earned her three world indoor bests in 15 days in 2014, crossing the line in 3:50.07. Muir’s British team mate Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) was twelfth in 4:06.36.

Farah showed that he is a princely middle distance runner still in mixing against the world’s best 1500m specialists, the reigning Olympic, world and European champion at 5,000m and 10,000m finished fourth in 3:28.93, missing the British and European ‘metric mile’ record he set in the same meeting two years ago (3:28.81) by a mere 0.12.

Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2011 and 2013 world champion at 1500m, finished a decisive winner in a stunning 3:26.69, climbing to third place on the world all time ranking  - Farah’s time was the fastest ever for fourth place in a 1500m race and it was the first time in history that four men had broken 3:29 in the same race.

His next outing is on home soil: the 3000m on the opening night of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London next Friday, 24 July

“It was good to be in that company,” Farah reflected. “Coming here, I wanted to run hard – not just race. It worked.”

Britain’s other reigning world champion, Christine Ohuruogu (Christine Bowmaker), also ran hard, showing signs that she is once again rounding into shape when it matters most. The Londoner finished fourth in the 400m in 50.82, a season’s best and 2015 UK lead. American Francena McCorory won in 49.83, a 2015 world lead.

Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) secured her second Diamond League top three placing of the season in the long jump, taking third spot behind European indoor champion Ivana Spanovic of Serbia and 2005 World champion Tianna Bartoletta of the USA. Ugen had held second place with a fourth round leap of 6.73m (+0.5) until Bartoletta nipped past her with a 6.76m (+1.9) effort in the final round.

Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) had to settle for fifth place with a second round mark of 6.65m (+0.4).

Newly crowned British 100m champion Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawaiah-Dodoo) also mixed it with the world’s best. The 21-year-old Enfield and Haringey athlete finished fourth in 10.08 (-0.3), behind Justin Gatlin (9.78) and Tyson Gay (9.97) and in-form Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut (10.03).

Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) was fifth in a high class 200m field in 22.41 (-0.3), Tiffany Porter sixth in the 100m hurdles in 12.66 (-0.3) and Isobel Pooley ninth in the high jump with 1.86m. Julian Reid (Aston Moore) finished eighth in the triple jump with 15.96m (+0.5 ), while Nathan Douglas (Aston Moore) retired from the competition after two fouls.