Faith Kipyegon was already a legend of the distance events before she launched her Wanda Diamond League campaign in 2023. With three Diamond League titles, three world titles, two Olympic gold medals and 18 Diamond League victories, it seemed the Kenyan had little less to achieve.
But then 2023 came along, and Kipyegon proved once again that for a champion like her, enough is never ever enough.
In the space of six weeks in June and July, the 29-year-old achieved more than most athletes could dream of in a lifetime. She rewrote the record books, put herself on top of the world in three disciplines and changed Diamond League history forever.
When she started her Diamond League season in Florence, Kipyegon was already talking about breaking the world record. She had come close a few times in the previous years, including in a thrilling battle with Dutch rival Sifan Hassan at the same Diamond League meeting in 2021.
It was no surprise, then, when Kipyegon crossed the line in 3:49.11, obliterating the previous world record set by Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba at the Monaco Diamond League in 2015.
"I said yesterday that I wanted to run a beautiful race, run my race, and see what is possible, and this was possible," she said, after becoming only the eighth athlete in history to break a world record at a Diamond League meeting.
"There’s still more to come. I’m still working on running faster than that, faster than 3:49. I’m really thankful today that I managed to run 3:49 and I’m still heading towards beautiful races in the rest of the season."
There was indeed more to come, as Kipyegon demonstrated in the 5000m in Paris just a few days later.
Unlike in Florence, there was no talk of a world record this time around. No athlete had ever broken two world records in the Diamond League before, let alone two in a single season. And Kipyegon admitted that she was still quite tired after the adrenaline of her triumph in Italy.
Yet he Kenyan delivered once again, clocking 14:05.20 and collapsing to the floor in shock as the OMEGA board flashed the words "New WR" for the second time in a week.
Even more incredibly, it wasn't the only world record which was broken that night, with Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma also clocking 7:52.11 in the men's steeplechase. Some were surprised to see him pip Olympic and Diamond League champion Soufiane El Bakkali to the world record, but Girma said he knew he was in history-making form.
“I’m happy and very proud. I felt so fast during the race, so confident. The world record is not a surprise; it was my plan to beat it tonight in Paris. It’s the result of my full determination.” said Girma.
Had it been any other night, and any other season, Girma's performance would have been the story of the year. But this was 2023, and Kipyegon had more in the tank.
After a month's break from beating world records, the Kenyan returned to Diamond League action in Monaco in mid-July, with her eyes on the mile world record Hassan had set in the same stadium in 2019.
If the Florence record felt overdue and the Paris record came as a shock, Kipyegon's third and final world record of the season seemed simply inevitable at the Stade Louis II. Sure enough, Kipyegon clocked 4:07.64, taking an unbelievable four seconds of Hassan's record.
“I really enjoyed the race,” she said. “I came for that, I wanted to chase the world record.” By that time, she had got used to breaking them.
In the third part of our Greatest Season Ever series, we'll take a look at the big-name stars who made their long-awaited Diamond League comebacks in 2023.