Kenyan middle-distance superstar Faith Kipyegon capped a year that brought her a trio of world records by claiming a hat-trick of world 1,500 metres gold medals as she ran a perfect race to come home in 3:54.87 in Tuesday’s final.
Kipyegon, the double Olympic champion, has not lost over the distance for two years. Still only 29, Budapest is her sixth World Championships and she now has a remarkable haul of three golds, two silvers and a fifth place on her debut in 2013.
Avoiding any risk of a fall, Kipyegon hit the front from the start, though keeping a controlled pace. With the rest of the field effectively running for minor medals, nobody challenged her and when Kipyegon kicked for home at the bell she opened a huge lead and enjoyed a virtual lap of honour in advance.
Ethiopian 21-year-old Diribe Welteji was the best of the rest as she took silver in 3:55.69, with Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, still heavily strapped after falling metres from the line while fighting for 10,000m gold three days ago, finishing well for bronze in 3:56.00.
“This is a great season for me - to break the world records and to become a world champion here, to defend my title, I am so grateful,” said Kipyegon, who set new marks over 1,500m, the mile and 5,000m in June and July.
“I was chasing history today and I was chasing this title. My plan was to get to the front then I just controlled the race and kept going faster and faster.”
Kipyegon and Hassan are likely to clash again later in the week when both race over 5,000m.
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