Double world champion Sifan Hassan will race world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei as they seek the one-hour world record in Brussels tomorrow night ©Getty Images

Three world records are in the sights of Diamond League athletes who have gathered here to compete in an empty King Baudouin Stadium tomorrow evening, with the marks for the men's and women's one-hour race and the women's 1000 metres under threat.

One-hour races at the exhibition meeting offer Britain's multiple world and Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah the chance to add another achievement to his CV, while Kenya's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and double world champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands will seek the women's record.

In what is the 44th edition of the AG Memorial Van Damme meeting in Belgium's capital, Kenya's Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will challenge the women's 1000m mark of 2min 28.98sec set by Russia's double Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova on the same track in 1996.

Kipyegon will approach her task with plenty of confidence given her performance in the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Monaco last month, where she finished just 17 hundredths of a second adrift of the Russian's time.

Now 37, Sir Mo – the winner of the 5,000 and 10,000m at the last two Olympics – is returning to the track for the first time since switching to road racing in 2017 and has prepared for his effort at the high altitude of Font Romeu in the Pyrenees.

He has been accompanied by training partner Bashir Abdi, who won European 10,000m silver for Belgium at the 2018 European Championships and who, like Sir Mo, was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah will challenge the one-hour world record at tomorrow's Wanda Diamond League exhibition meeting in Brussels ©Getty Images
Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah will challenge the one-hour world record at tomorrow's Wanda Diamond League exhibition meeting in Brussels ©Getty Images

The mark they are targeting was the last world record set by Ethiopia's multiple world and Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie, who managed to cover 21,285 kilometres in 2007 at the track in Ostrava.

"I want to improve that world record," Sir Mo told the Diamond League.

"The AG Memorial Van Damme will be my first race since the Chicago Marathon last October.

"I was struggling with an injury and then all races were cancelled due to the corona pandemic.

"In my career I have always focused on taking titles at the big championships, but when I was asked to take a shot at the world hour record, I did not hesitate."

Sir Mo says he will be seeking an even pace, and that he is likely to stay with Bashir for the first 10 to 15 kilometres.

If Sir Mo succeeds in his bid to better Gebrselassie's 13-year-old effort he will officially become the 12th man in history to hold the one-hour world record.

This blue riband achievement has passed among legends of the sport such as France's 1912 Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Jean Bouin, the "Flying Finn" Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Ron Clarke, Gaston Roelants, Jos Hermens and of course Gebrselassie.

When Hermens improved his own world record to 20,944m at the all-weather track in Papendal in May 1976, he pioneered technological support that will be available to the runners tomorrow.

Police beacons were placed at each 200m mark which would flash roughly twice a minute to indicate the precise world record pace.

Hermens has since come up with the Wavelight technology concept, in which flashing lights are fitted to track rails to aid athlete pacing.

This was seen at Diamond League meetings in Oslo and Monaco this year, and will be in place on the King Baudouin Stadium track.

Hermens also arranged for a playlist of his favourite tunes to be broadcast during his effort, and Sir Mo and Abdi have done the same thing, with the help of suggestions from fans on social media.

The audience simulation technology that has been used at meetings this season, artfully employing recordings of previous competitions to enliven the atmosphere, will also be in play.

The women's one-hour race involves a fascinating struggle between two of the world's outstanding athletes as Hassan and Kosgei attack the mark of 18,517km set by Ethiopia's Dire Tune at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in 2008.

Kenya's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei will race double world champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands in Brussels tomorrow night as both seek the women's one-hour race world record ©Getty Images
Kenya's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei will race double world champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands in Brussels tomorrow night as both seek the women's one-hour race world record ©Getty Images

Last year in Doha, Hassan, who turned 27 on New Year's Day, became the only athlete in history to win the 1500m and 10,000m at a single World Championships.

In 2019 she also become the world record holder for the 5km road race – running 14:44 – and the mile, where she clocked 4:12.33, with both events being held in Monaco.

The Ethiopian-born athlete's range stretches – for the moment – to the half marathon, where she set the European record of 1:05.15 at Copenhagen in 2018.

Kosgei, 26, bettered that time on September 8 last year when she won the Great North Run in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1:04:28, although it could not be officially ratified by World Athletics because of the nature of the course.

There were no asterisks involved just over a month later, however, when she retained her Chicago Marathon title in a world record time of 2:14:04, a personal best of more than four minutes which bettered Paula Radcliffe's 2003 mark of 2:15.25.

And she is determined to make her mark in the Belgian capital as she prepares for the defence of her London Marathon title on October 4.

Although the autumnal weather here is likely to militate against towering pole vault performances, much will be expected of Sweden's 20-year-old world record holder Armand "Mondo" Duplantis, who comes fresh from the outdoor personal best clearance of 6.07m he required to beat Sam Kendricks in the Diamond League exhibition event in Lausanne yesterday.

Duplantis, who had matched the 6.02m achieved by Kendricks – the American's second-best ever effort – went on to make one unsuccessful attempt at 6.15m, which would have bettered the world outdoor record of 6.14m set by Sergey Bubka in 1994.

Will the 20-year-old phenomenon, who cleared 6.17m and 6.18m indoors earlier this season, put himself in a position to have another go at Bubka's mark?

Among those likely to carry the strongest challenge to him tomorrow are Brazil's Rio 2016 champion Thiago Braz, home vaulter Ben Broeders and US vaulter Christopher Nilsen, who set a personal best of 5.95m last year in beating his younger rival to the National Collegiate Athletic Association title.

Norway's 19-year-old European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, whose consolation for two narrow defeats by Kenya's world champion Timothy Cheruiyot this season has been a European record of 3:28.68, will return to the track once again for the metric mile.

While Cheruiyot will not be present on this occasion, the wonder-boy will nevertheless face a strong field which includes Britain's Charlie Da'Vall Grice, who ran 3:30.62 last season.

Unfortunately for home fans, Achilles tendon problems have prevented Belgium's Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam from taking part in a planned "triathlon".

While the shot put element of that event has been cancelled, the 100m hurdles and high jump remain, and both will feature the Briton who took the world title from Thiam in Doha last year, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Another rival whom Johnson-Thompson will not now be meeting here is Austria’s world indoor silver medallist Ivona Dadic, who set a 2020 best heptathlon total of 6419 points at Gotzis on Sunday.

According to the Kronen Zeitung, she heard while heading for the airport today that her routine coronavirus test taken the day before had come up as positive.

“I had a PCR test carried out yesterday and was informed of the positive result this afternoon,” she said.

“I am completely symptom-free, but the presence of the COVID-19 virus was determined.”