This is Justin Lagat’s preview of the upcoming Paris DL Meeting on June 9, 2023!  Justin wrote an exciting preview on the distance races that will happen at the fourth Diamond League of the season. 

One of the most anticipated distance events at this Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Paris will definitely be the women’s 5000m race.

While still in her world record-breaking form – a week after setting a new world record of 3:49.11 for the 1500m event- Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon will be facing two other world record holders in what promises to be a thrilling race to watch.

Letesenbet Gidey holds world records for the 5000m at 14:06.62, a record she set in October 2020. She also holds world records for the 10,000m, the 15K, and the half marathon distances.

Gidey will be seeking to use this event to redeem herself after the disappointment from Bathurst, where she failed to win the world title after leading the race up to the last few meters, where she fell down. On the other hand, Kipyegon will be hoping to remain on the pedestal she has been on.

Faith Kipyegon wins the 1,500m!
World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July15-26, 2022
1500 meters, women, photo by Kevin Morris

Ejgayehu Taye, who has a personal best time of 14:12.98 for the track distance and who holds the 5km world record of 14:19 on the roads, will be the other big contender for the title.

Another one to watch will be Grace Loibach, who crossed the 5000m mark in what would have been a new PB of 14:46.01 -over 40 seconds faster than her PB for the track distance- to run an amazing 29:47.42 for the 10,000m in Hengelo, to finish second behind Sifan Hassan at the FBK Games. Here, she will get the opportunity to show what she can do in the 5000m event, and a new personal best is surely awaiting her in Paris.

Also on the star-studded field is Kenya’s world silver medalist, Margaret Chelimo, who has a personal best time of 14:27.12.

In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, it will be Ethiopian Lamecha Girma’s turn to show what he is capable of doing this year after missing out on the Rabat Diamond League and having to watch Soufiane El Bakkali run a spectacular 7:56.68 world-leading time. Being the only sub-8 minutes runner on the start list, the race promises to be a solo run and a run against time similar to the show by El Bakkali last month. Will we see a new world-leading time?

Faith Kipyegon, photo by Justin Lagat

A third rematch between Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Wycliffe Kinyamal will be witnessed in the men’s 800m race after the two had finished first and second at the Kip Keino Continental Tour Gold meeting and at the Rabat Diamond League event on 28th May. The presence of Algeria’s Slimane Moula, who had won the Doha Diamond League race ahead of Kinyamal, will add an interesting twist to the race. Also present n the start list is the world and Olympic champion, Emmanuel Korir. Although, Korir is yet to make a big impression this year.

Keely Hodgkinson, who is currently ranked number two in the world for the women’s 800m race, will be opening her outdoor season. The reigning World and Olympic Games silver medalist will face some strong opposition from Ajee Wilson of the USA, who has remained unbeaten so far this year throughout her indoor to outdoor season in distances ranging from the 600m to the 1000m. Wilson’s recent performance was a 1:59.01 at last month’s Los Angeles Grand Prix. Catriona Bisset of Australia, who had a world-leading time of 1:58.32 before being taken down by Kenya’s Nelly Jepchirchir, will be the other woman to watch, together with Natoya Goule of Jamaica and Halima Nagaayi of Uganda.

Faith Kipyegon, 2022 NIke Pre Classic, photo by Kevin Morris

There will be an interesting non-diamond league 2 miles race where Jacob Igebrigtsen features against other stars like the 18-year-old Ishmael Kipkurui,  the world U20 cross country champion, Australia’s McSweyne, and USA’s Paul Chelimo. Ingebrigtsen, the world and Olympic champion who opened his outdoor season with a 3:32.59 1500m run at the Rabat Diamond League meeting last month is expected to run a fast time.