Sifan Hassan produced a stupendous final lap in the women’s mile here to finish in 4min 12.33sec – thus breaking the 23-year-old world record of 4:12.56 held by Russia’s 1996 Olympic 800 metres and 1,500m champion Svetlana Masterkova.
Hassan had said on the day before her race in the ninth of this season’s International Association of Athletics Federations’ Diamond League races that she intended to run “three or four seconds” faster than her best of 4:14.71, set in London in 2017.
As things turned out, she failed in that ambition, not that she looked too put out about it after the race as she lay on her back on the Stade Louis II stadium track with a radiant smile on her face.
After the field had been paced through 800m in 2min 08.20sec, Netherlands athlete Hassan moved into the lead with 600 metres remaining, with Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay the only runner in touch at that stage.
Hassan, who had broken the 5k road race world record in the principality, cut loose over the final lap and was suitably rewarded for her enterprise by the digital clock.
In her wake, the effort of chasing told on Tsegay, who faded to fourth in a season’s best of 4:18.31 as Britain’s Laura Weightman came through to finish second in a personal best of 4:17.60 and Gabriela Debues-Stafford of Canada took third place in a national record of 4:17.87.
“I knew I could run fast but the first 800m was a bit slow, so after that I wasn’t thinking it would be a world record,” Hassan, the European 5,000m champion, said.
“When I crossed the line I was so surprised.
“After you run a last 400m like that and set a world record, it gives me so much confidence over 5,000m.
"I want to double over 1,500m and 5000m in Doha and the way I finished the last 400m there, it’s amazing.”
Before the start of the women’s mile, renamed the Brave Like Gabe Mile, a short film clip was shown featuring the US runner Gabe Grunewald who fought cancer for so long before losing her battle earlier this year, and the crowd showed their respect and appreciation.
Nijel Amos produced the fastest 800m since the London 2012 Olympic final – where David Rudisha set the world record of 1min 40.91sec and he himself won silver in a personal best of 1:41.73.
That meant that his winning time here of 1:41.89 was not even a personal best, despite being the sixth fastest time in history.
It was an electric effort from the Botswana runner, who, incredibly, is still only 25.
He drove on as the second of the two pacemakers moved aside after taking the field through 400m in 48.70.
As he neared the line he was chased home by the taller figure of Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich, who was rewarded for his persistence with a personal best of 1:42.54.
“I did an impossible session on Tuesday and after that I knew I could run 1:41,” Amos said.
“The world record is not in my mind but if I’m patient it will come.”
Piotr Lisek won the men’s pole vault with a monumental effort of 6.02m – a Polish record, meeting record and 2019 world-leading mark.
It was the second lifetime best in the space of a week for the 26-year-old world silver medallist, who cleared 6.01m to win in last Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Lausanne.
Nineteen-year-old Swede Armand “Mondo” Duplantis did all he could to frustrate the Pole’s driving ambition, taking second with a clearance of 5.92m and – after passing following one failure at 5.97 – two near misses at 6.02m.
And in his best performance by some distance since winning the Rio 2016 title on home soil, Thiago Braz finished in third place on countback, having also cleared 5.92m.
Shaunae Miller-Uibo, her silvered locks newly dyed to pink, produced a mighty performance to win the women’s 200m in a season’s best of 22.09.
Trailing in her wake were runners of the highest quality.
Jamaica’s Rio 2016 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson was second in 22.44, with double world champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands third in 22.45.
In the end the men’s pole vault took top billing in the field events, but the much-anticipated men’s triple jump, featuring three 18m-plus athletes, certainly did not disappoint.
Christian Taylor of the United States, the world and Olympic champion, earned the honours with a winning effort of 17.82m, a meeting record and season’s best.
His compatriot Will Claye, who leads this year’s world list with a personal best of 18.14m, retired after three rounds but had done enough with his second-round effort of 17.75m to earn second place.
Portugal’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the last of the 18m-plus trio, finished third with a best of 17.38m.
Sydney McLaughlin, with a poise that belied her 19 years, won an overwhelming victory in the women’s 400m hurdles, leading from the first set of barriers and coming home imperiously in a 2019 world best time of 53.32.
Five yards behind her a wave of world-class runners came home in a separate race, with Rio 2016 bronze medallist Ashley Spencer taking second place in 54.46, followed by the 2013 and 2015 world champion from the Czech Republic, Zuzana Hejnova, who clocked 54.55.
As expected, Timothy Cheruyiot won the men’s 1,500m, which was not a scoring race in the Diamond League, but was a superb race in anybody’s estimation.
On a track where he set his personal best of 3:28.41 last season, Cheruyiot won in 3:29.97, with Norway’s 18-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen second in 3:30.47 and Uganda’s Ronald Musagala third in a national record of 3:30.58.
At the age of 37, world 100m champion Justin Gatlin continues to defy probability with his winning performances, tonight taking victory in 9.91.
His 21-year-old US compatriot Noah Lyles, twice Diamond League 200m champion, had to settle for second in 9.92 after running out of track and time as he sought to recover from his own modest getaway.