Francine Niyonsaba shocks Letesenbet Gidey in Eugene

Francine Niyonsaba shocks Letesenbet Gidey in Eugene

The 2017 World 800m silver medallist Champion Francine Niyonsaba produced the most eye-catching performance of the night when she ran the second fastest time in history over the rarely run two miles distance at the Eugene Diamond League Meet.

The race was billed as a world record attempt by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey to try and lower the record of Meseret Defar’s of 8:58.58 marks.

But the Burundian stole the show over two miles at the Pre Classic and powered past Gidey into the lead with 650m to go before going on to cut the tape easily in 9:00.75.

The Ethiopian was forced to settle in second place six seconds behind and Olympic 5000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri closed the first podium three finishes in 9:14.55.

Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen and Great Britain’s Amy-Eloise Markovc took fourth and fifth in 9:18.16 and 9:21.98 respectively

Markovc went No.2 on the UK all-time rankings behind Paula Radcliffe’s 9:17.4, which was run during a 14:29.11 5000m race at the European Cup in Bydgoszcz in 2004.

Caroline Chepkpoech Chepkirui from Kenya finished in position eight in 9:40.86.

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.