Laura Muir boosted by her second quickest 1500m ever in run-up to Tokyo Olympics but the Brit finishes behind rivals Sifan Hassan and Faith Kipyegon in Diamond League showdown
- Muir was third behind the winner Hassan and Olympic champion Kipyegon
- The Brit ran the second quickest 1500m of her life at the meet in Florence
- Asher-Smith extended her unbeaten run in 2021 by winning the 200m
Laura Muir is getting quicker but the lingering concern on the final straight to Tokyo is that her prime rivals in the 1500m are not slowing up.
Quite the opposite judging from a brilliant race at the Diamond League meet in Florence on Thursday night.
Muir was third in 3:55.59 behind the winner Sifan Hassan and the Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon in an excellent clash between three quarters of the four women who lead the strongest field in athletics.
Laura Muir was third behind the winner Sifan Hassan and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon
Only Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia was missing from the cohort that is likely to contest the medals in Japan, so the meet served as a perfect measuring point in the final two months before they compete for real.
Against that backdrop, Muir ran the second quickest 1500m of her life as part of a front three that broke with 600m to go and were never again within reach of the chasing pack.
However, she was firmly burnt off by Hassan of the Netherlands and Kenya’s Kipyegon on the final bend, finishing almost two seconds behind Hassan, who four days earlier broke the 10,000m world record, only to lose it within 48 hours.
Dina Asher-Smith extended her unbeaten run in 2021 with an impressive win in the 200m
The good news for Muir is that Hassan, the 1500m world champion and a former athlete of Alberto Salazar, is giving serious thought to skipping the distance in Tokyo in favour of a 10,000m and 5,000m double.
Muir said: ‘I’m really happy with this result – I think it’s my second fast time ever and just short of my British Record. To be able to run this fast in the time leading up to the Olympics, it feels really great.’
Dina Asher-Smith extended her unbeaten run in 2021 to nine races with an impressive 22.06sec win in the 200m. Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast was more than half a second behind as the Brit ran her third quickest ever time at the distance.
CJ Ujah and Andy Pozzi were second in the 100m and the 110m hurdles respectively.