BUDAPEST, Hungary (AFP) — Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon produced a devastating last lap to win an unprecedented third world women’s 1500-meter title in Budapest on Tuesday as archrival Sifan Hassan took bronze.
The double Olympic champion, who previously won world golds in 2017 and last year 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 three minutes and 54.87 seconds.
Ethiopian Diribe Welteji took the silver medal 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 1500 meters 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 meters from the finish of the 10,000-meter 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 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters and a bronze in the 1500 meters 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 5,000 meters 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.