Special Faith Kipyegon blasts to 3rd World 1500m title

Superstar Faith Kipyegon used a super-fast last lap the dominate her rivals and claimed her 3rd World 1500m title at the world track and field championships.

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BUDAPEST (22-Aug) — On a very warm night and in front of a roaring crowd at the National Athletics Center here at the 2023 World Track and Field Championships – Budapest 2023, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon blasted the final lap of the women’s 1500m final in 56.6 seconds to take her third world title in 3:54.87.

Kipyegon, 29, who also won two consecutive Olympic 1500m titles in 2016 and 2021 and is also the world record holder, can now lay claim to being the best-ever women’s miler in history.  She dominated tonight’s final, taking the lead right from the beginning and never relinquishing it.

“That was my expectation as world record holder and defending champion,” Kipyegon told a small group of reporters in a noisy and crowded mixed zone with her gold medal around her neck.  “If you go to the front and just control the race and run your race.  So, I run my race.”

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Kipyegon not only showed her speed tonight, but her mastery of tactics.  She sprinted down the backstretch right from the gun to jolt the field, but as she hit the bend she eased off the pace.  Firmly in front, she took the field through 400m in a not-too-fast 1:05.2. 

She was followed closely by most of her top rivals: Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji, Britain’s Laura Muir, and Ireland’s Ciara Mageean.  Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan –who is tripling here in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m– chose to hang back, her usual tactic.

Kipyegon continued to lead through 800m (2:11.8) and kept the pace steady through the bell.  She then accelerated, gaining steam like a tiny freight train down the backstretch. 

Faith Kipyegon celebrates her women's 1500m final world championships 2023 gold medal
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates after winning her third world 1500m title at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly

Welteji gave chase and kept it close, while Hassan shot ahead from the pack and moved into third place. The finish order did not change down the homestretch with Kipyegon holding the lead and Hassan unable to catch Welteji. 

Welteji was timed in 3:55.69 to Hassan’s 3:56.00.  

“It was not easy,” Kipyegon continued.  “It’s all about executing as much as I can to defend my title, and I am so grateful.”

Hassan, who finished 11th in the 10,000m after falling in the final 20 meters, now must prepare for the first round of the 5000m tomorrow night when she will again face Kipyegon (both women are in the second of two heats).  She was in good spirits after her race tonight, joking with reporters.

“What is my plan?” Hassan asked rhetorically, repeating a reporter’s question about the 5000m.  “To get from Kenya the gold medal.”

Mageean finished a strong fourth in 3:56.61, setting an Irish record, and Kipyegon’s Kenyan teammate, Nelly Chepchirchir, was fifth in a personal best 3:57.90. 

Muir, the reigning European champion, finished sixth in 3:58.58.  The lone American in the final, Cory McGee, finished tenth.

Click here for more women’s 1500m results

David Monti
David Monti

David Monti is the Editor, Publisher, and Founder, of Race Results Weekly, a professional distance running data and news service providing results from over 3000 events annually, and worldwide. He is based in New York City.
David Monti, @d9monti -
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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