Faith Kipyegon seals historic hat-trick of world 1,500m titles, Sifan Hassan bags bronze
BUDAPEST – Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon produced a devastating last lap to win an unprecedented third world women’s 1,500m title in Budapest on Tuesday as arch-rival Sifan Hassan took bronze.
The double Olympic champion, who previously won world championship titles in 2017 and 2022 in Eugene, led from gun to tape in a magisterial display of running.
She kicked at the bell for the final lap to outstrip a loaded field to win in 3min 54.87sec.
Ethiopian Diribe Welteji took silver in 3:55.69, with Dutch runner Hassan rounding out the podium (3:56.00).
It was another remarkable result for the irrepressible Kipyegon in a stunning season in which she has set three world records.
“This is a great season for me,” the 29-year-old Kenyan admitted. “To break the world records and become a world champion here, to defend my title.
“I told myself, ‘You are the strongest and just keep going’. I was chasing history today and I was chasing this title. I have done it.”
Kipyegon is hailed as the world’s best-ever runner over 1,500m and it is easy to see why.
She remains unbeaten over the distance since June 2021. On that occasion at the Florence Diamond League meet, she was beaten by Hassan.
The bronze for Hassan capped a brave comeback after a dramatic fall metres from the finish of the 10,000m which put paid to her bid for a treble.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, I was coming from the marathon and I was struggling to get my speed back,” said Hassan, who won gold medals in both the 5,000m and 10,000m and a bronze at the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Before I decided to enter these three events, I did not look at how fast the girls are this year. When I looked at the start list for my heat, I was wondering why I put myself in this position!
“I would never have imagined that I would win a medal. This season has been really crazy so far, especially for me. So this medal is really something special.”
Kipyegon and Hassan will again face off in the 5,000m on Saturday.
“We are all strong runners. I knew the ladies were strong and I thank them for pushing me today. I wish everyone the best, we have to help each other in any way,” Kipyegon said.
In the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, Olympic gold medallist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco claimed his second consecutive world championship title.
The 27-year-old held off world record holder and Olympic silver medallist Lamecha Girma (8:05.44) of Ethiopia to win in 8min 3.53sec and then laid down in the water hazard in celebration.
“I had great preparations for these championships but today’s field was very strong with athletes like Lamecha,” said El Bakkali.
“I came ready and prepared and believed I could win. This medal gives me additional motivation for the Olympic Games in Paris,” he added.
Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot clipped a barrier and fell heading into the final lap but scrambled back to take a well-earned bronze in 8:11.98. AFP, REUTERS