Athletics-Brilliant Kipyegon storms to emphatic 1,500m gold

By Mitch Phillips

EUGENE, Ore. (Reuters) -Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon stamped her authority on the women’s 1,500m final almost from the start on Monday and drove on relentlessly to take her second world gold in three minutes, 52.96 seconds.

Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay and Briton Laura Muir, who matched Kipyegon stride for lung-busting stride until the last 300m, took silver and bronze.

Kipyegon, winner of the last two Olympic 1,500m golds, the 2017 world title and who picked up a world silver in 2019 a year after having a baby, came to Eugene on the back of posting the year’s fastest time on the same Hayward Field track in May.

She almost matched it on Monday as any thoughts of the sort of tactical race often seen in finals disappeared on the back of a 55.1 second opening lap.

The leaders went through 800m in 2.03 minutes, with the rest of the field flailing distantly in their wake. They stayed locked together through the bell but the Kenyan began to create daylight on the back straight and powered clear.

“I have to say I am thankful for my second gold medal,” she said. “I knew it was going to be fast so I was well prepared for that. Now I really want to get a new PB (personal best).”

Tsegay, second-fastest in the world this year, finished in 3:54.52 and will now turn her attention to the 5,000m having won Olympic bronze over the distance last year.

“I was expecting more from this race but my opponents were more experienced and lucky so I have to be grateful for the silver,” she said. “I’m now thinking about the 5,000m and will show good some thing there.”

Tokyo silver medallist Muir clocked 3:55.28 to collect Britain’s first medal of the championship and her first in the event after finishing fifth, fourth and fifth in the previous three 1,500m world finals.

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Peter Rutherford)