Faith Kipyegon’s triumph in a dramatic women’s 1500m final capped a thrilling fourth day of action at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 on Monday (7)
Kenya’s Kipyegon was left thrashing about on the track like a thing possessed after supplementing last year’s Olympic title with a world gold in a women’s 1500m final of dizzying possibilities and drama.
After a stacked field had run cautiously to the bell, Kipyegon was in pole position to earn another global title as she ran alongside the Dutch athlete who leads this year’s world lists with 3:56.14, Sifan Hassan, with Britain’s Laura Muir and Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba in close attendance.
By the time the field reached the final bend, Dibaba had dropped away but the Briton, roared on mightily, remained in pursuit of a medal until a tumultuous final 20 metres in which Hassan went backwards to fifth as US runner Jennifer Simpson, champion in 2011, came smoothly through for silver on the inside and South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who will defend her 800m title here, just moved past for bronze before staggering and falling at the line.
Kipyegon did everything right, crossing first in 4:02.59, with the American clocking 4:02.76, with Semenya recording 4:02.90.
“I I knew it would be fast, it is such a quality field,” said Kipyegon. “The best was going to win here. It was always going to be quick and competitive.”
Simpson commented: “My coach has been telling me all day, ‘Be willing to run your guts out and you’ll be great’, so I did exactly what she did. The last 300m in particular I ran my guts out and it paid off.
“Having the experience is huge because having the ability to stay calm is so hard, especially at the world championships when you’re racing in a beautiful stadium like this. To come out with a medal, I think it was down to keeping my wits about me.”
Muir, who finished two places off the podium after going for broke at last year’s Rio Olympics, also went down after the finish, lying on her front and contemplating the bitterest of positions. She had missed a medal by seven hundredths of a second.
Asked for a response by the infield MC, Iwan Thomas, she responded: “Er.. yeah. Fourth. Fifth last time, fourth now so – I’m getting there…” – IAAF