Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands broke the rarely run one-hour world record on Friday by covering 18.930 kilometres at the Memorial Van Damme meeting.
The previous record of 18.517 kilometres was set by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in 2008.
Hassan and Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei fought toe to toe at the King Baudouin stadium with no fans watching because of the coronavirus crisis. Hassan accelerated in the final minute to leave Kosgei powerless in her slipstream.
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah will later try to set a new men’s one-hour record at the meeting, which is part of the Diamond League series.