World champion Asbel Kiprop’s relentless pace proved too much for his rivals, including Mo Farah, as the Kenyan clocked the fastest 1,500m time since 2004 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.
With the world championships in Moscow just over three weeks away, world leads and minor records were set with seeming abandon at the Stade Louis II.
Kiprop pulled ahead of the field shortly before the bell and raced away to win in three minutes, 27.72 seconds.
Britain’s Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic champion Farah said before the event that he was dropping down to the shorter distance to work on his speed and the move paid off as he went round in a European record of 3:28.81.
Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m, which was run against the backdrop of revelations that leading sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell had failed dope tests.
American Gatlin, who served a four-year doping ban from 2006, got a great start and won in 9.94 seconds, in a race missing world-record holder Usain Bolt
Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast put herself in the mix for the world 200m title after blasting out of the blocks and holding off American Tiffany Townsend and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for victory in 22.24.
Farah would have watched the 5,000m, for which he is world champion, with interest as Kenyan Edwin Soi ran the fastest time of the year, 12:51.34, to win
Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson is still a way off her best after returning from a hamstring injury last month.
The Australian faded badly over the last three hurdles to finish fifth behind American Queen Harrison who won in 12.64.
Olympic silver medallist Brigetta Barrett treated the crowd to a dance routine after clearing 2.01 first time in the high jump which was enough for victory.