MONACO — Olympian Shannon Rowbury etched her name in the history books Friday, breaking Mary Decker’s American record in the Herculis Monaco meeting women’s 1,500 meters in 3:56.29, pending ratification.
Aided by a tremendous rabbiting effort by Chanelle Price, every athlete in Friday’s Diamond League race set a best of some kind, whether it was a season’s best, personal best or in the case of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, a world record.
Price perfectly paced Dibaba, European champion Sifan Hassan, Rowbury and the rest of the field with an opening lap of 1:00.31, and paced the lead pack through 800 meters in 2:04.52 before leaving it to Dibaba for the final two laps.
Rowbury and compatriot Jenny Simpson pushed each other throughout the race, but as Dibaba charged towards the line for the world record in 3:50.07, it was Rowbury who emerged as the top American. The two-time 2015 USATF Indoor champion stormed to the finish to come away with a third-place performance of 3:56.29. Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) crossed fourth in a season’s best 3:57.30.
Rowbury broke Decker’s previous American record of 3:57.12, set in Stockholm, Sweden prior to her two gold medals at the 1983 World Championships, dubbed as the “Double Decker”. Rowbury now owns two American records outdoors, setting the two-mile American record at the 2014 Nike Prefontaine Classic.
For full results from the Diamond League meeting in Monaco, please visit IAAF.org.