Marileidy Paulino and Malik James-King make podium at Paris Diamond League Meeting: world records for Mahuchikh and Kipyegon

By July 07, 2024

At the Paris Diamond League meeting on Sunday, Marileidy Paulino and Malik James-King both secured podium finishes, displaying their exceptional form just weeks before the start of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

 Paulino, the reigning world champion, continued her dominance in the 400m. Although she fell short of her goal to break the 48-second barrier, Paulino's performance was nothing short of impressive. She won the 400m with a season's best time of 49.20 seconds, pulling away from Poland's Natalia Kaczmarek, who finished second in 49.82 seconds, and Salwa Eid Naser, the 2019 World Champion, who took third with the same time. Despite not achieving her target, Paulino's victory reaffirmed her readiness to contend for Olympic gold in Paris.

Speaking at the pre-meet press conference on Saturday, Paulino had expressed her desire to run under 49 seconds. "I feel very well prepared. My main ambition is to do the best possible time and to have an optimal race execution. For me, a time of 48'' would be ideal," she said. Her performance on Sunday, while just shy of this mark.

Meanwhile, James-King, fresh off his massive personal best at the Jamaica National Championships, delivered another remarkable performance in the 400m hurdles. Arriving in Paris only 12 hours before the race, James-King clocked an impressive 48.37 seconds to secure third place. This follows his stunning victory in Kingston, where he dethroned national record holder Roshawn Clarke with a lifetime best of 47.42 seconds.

Brazil's Alison dos Santos, the pre-race favorite, won the 400m hurdles in 47.78 seconds, followed by Estonia's Rasmus Magi, who finished second in 47.95 seconds. James-King's podium finish against such a competitive field highlighted his potential for further success on the international stage.

The Paris Diamond League meeting was packed with thrilling performances, including a world record in the women's high jump and a world-leading time in a sensational 800m race. Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati topped the 800m with a lifetime best, world lead, and national record of 1:41.56. He narrowly edged out Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who ran a lifetime best of 1:41.58, and Frenchman Gabriel Tual, who set a national record and lifetime best of 1:41.61. The depth of competition was evident, with the next three runners all finishing under 1:43 and achieving personal bests.

One of the highlights of the meet came in the women’s high jump, where Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh broke Stefka Kostadinova’s long-standing world record of 2.09m, set in 1987. Mahuchikh, facing strong competition from world indoor champion Nicola Olyaslagers, who had matched her at 2.01m, went on to clear 2.03m and then 2.07m before soaring to a new world record of 2.10m, surpassing her own meet record and world lead of 2.04m.

Serbia Angelina Topic set a new national record of 1.98 for third.

Notably, Jamaica’s Lamara Distin was fourth with 1.95.

The other came in the 1500m where Faith Kipyegon broke her own the 1500m world record running an incredible 3:49.04 eclipsing her previous mark of 3:49.11 set last year. She dragged the field to outstanding performances with Australia’s Jessica Hull benefitting the most with a new lifetime best of 3:50.83, an Area Record. Laura Muir of Great Britain was third in a new personal best and national record of 3:53.79.

The next five runners all ran personal best times as the meet came to its conclusion.

As the penultimate Diamond League meet before the Olympics, the performances in Paris have set the stage for an exciting and highly competitive Games. 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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