Faith Kipyegon storms to her second straight 1,500m world championship victory

It was her race to lose–Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who is indisputably the greatest 1,500m runner the world has ever seen, would have had to make a serious mistake (or suffer a freak injury) to avoid winning the women’s 1,500m in Budapest on Tuesday. Neither happened, and the double Olympic champion and now three-time world champion and world record holder takes home another gold medal, with a finishing time of 3:54.87.

Former world junior champion Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia ran a smart race, positioning herself just behind Kipyegon near the start, and took home silver, in 3:55.69. And Olympic bronze medalist Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, after a disastrous 10,000m race on Sunday in which she fell in the final meters of the race she was leading, came from behind with her trademark finishing kick to take home bronze in 3:56.00.

Ciara Mageean of Ireland, the 2022 European silver medalist, ran an excellent race also, finishing fourth with a national record in 3:56.61. Nelly Chepchirchir of Kenya, who finished fifth, ran a personal best (3:57.90).

2022 bronze medalist Laura Muir of Team Great Britain ran 3:56 in the semi-final and was in the race for the first couple of laps, but ultimately faded to sixth (3:58.58).

After a fast first 100m, the race became very slow and tactical, but surprisingly, no one attempted to challenge Kipyegon’s lead, and allowed her to control the pace; the leaders went through 800m in 2:11 and were at 2:58 at the bell. And of course she closed lightning fast, with a 56.5-second final lap, completely unchallenged.

It was also Kenya’s first gold medal of the games. When asked in a post-race interview how it felt to bring home her country’s first gold medal of the games, the humble Kipyegon responded, “I’m so grateful,” and she repeated this when asked whether she felt that this third world title cemented her legacy as the greatest-ever 1,500m runner, adding that nothing in particular had changed in her training with coach Patrick Sang (who is coach also to marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge) to get her the extraordinary results she has seen so far this year.

Kipyegon set the world record at the distance at the Florence Diamond League earlier this season, becoming the first woman in the world to go sub-3:50. She, along with Hassan, will also race the 5,000m, which has been rescheduled from Wednesday morning to Wednesday evening, due to the extreme heat and humidity in Budapest. 

You can watch the World Athletics Championships live in Budapest at For full results, click here. 

The 2023 World Athletics Championships are taking place from August 19-27 at the National Stadium in Budapest, Hungary. All the action will be brought to you by Canadian Running and Asics Canada. Follow us on Twitter on Instagram for all things Team Canada and up-to-date exclusive news and content.

posted Wednesday August 23rd
by Anne Francis