Ethiopia’s Tsegay and Girma light up Lievin with near-record runs


At the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais Trophée EDF, the athletics world was on the edge of its seat as Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay and Lamecha Girma, along with American hurdler Grant Holloway, flirted with making history in their respective events. The performances of Tsegay and Girma were particularly electrifying, with both athletes coming agonizingly close to setting new world records.

Tsegay, the reigning world 10,000m champion, targeted the world indoor record in the 3000m in Lievin, a track that holds fond memories for her, having set the world indoor 1500m record there three years prior. Following the pacemakers’ initial lead, Tsegay’s pace saw fluctuations but she firmly took control after the pacemakers dropped, pushing hard towards the record.

Despite her efforts and leading the race by a significant margin, lapped runners forced her into the outer lanes, slowing her pace. Tsegay finished with a time of 8:17.11, securing the third-fastest indoor time ever, just half a second off the world record. Her performance, coupled with her post-race reflections, underscored both her disappointment and her resilience, focusing on the upcoming Olympic Games.

Girma, known for his steeplechase prowess, attempted to break the world indoor 2000m record, a feat previously unchallenged since Kenenisa Bekele’s time was set. Despite a strong start and staying close to record pace, Girma could not maintain the momentum, finishing with 4:51.23, marking the second-fastest time in history but not enough to eclipse Bekele’s record. His performance, nevertheless, was a testament to his extraordinary capability and promise for future competitions.

Grant Holloway, a dominant force in the hurdles, showcased his consistency by equalling his own 60m hurdles meeting record, narrowly missing his world record by a mere 0.03 seconds. This feat extended his remarkable winning streak and solidified his status as a leading figure in the sport.

The event in Lievin was a spectacle of near-historical achievements, highlighting the thin line between the extraordinary and the unprecedented. For Tsegay and Girma, it was a night of mixed emotions, blending the joy of victory with the slight sting of what could have been. Their performances, however, spoke volumes about their talent and the potential for future record-breaking feats. As the athletics world looks ahead, the anticipation for what these athletes will accomplish next continues to build.

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