The Roar
The Roar


With a third world title, Faith Kipyegon remains the unchallenged queen of the metric mile

Faith Kipyegon celebrates winning gold in the Women's 1500m Final at the World Athletics Championships. (Photo by Jiang Qiming/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Roar Rookie
4 days ago

‘Get to the front and go faster’.

That is Faith Kipyegon explaining her racing strategy in an interview. It may not be complicated, but it is very effective. On a muggy night in Budapest, the Kenyan once again implemented this strategy to cement her place at the very top of the middle-distance running world, as she cruised to an unprecedented third global 1500m title.

Relying on the same speed that she used to set three world records in the 1500m, mile, and 5000m in the two months leading up to the games, Kipyegon was once again in a class of her own.

The first 100m of the race were extremely quick, as Kipyegon ensured she was at the front as the field entered the first bend. From here, she slowly but surely ran away from her competitors.

With 300m to go, she began to splinter the field, dragging five athletes with her in the process. However, less than 100m later she was by herself, eventually covering the final 800m in under two minutes; a time that has previously won 800m world titles. In the end, Kipyegon crossed the line in 3:54.87, well clear of the rest of her competitors to comfortably retain her title from 12 months ago in Eugene.

‘I told myself, “You are the strongest and just keep going,”’ Kipyegon said in a post-race interview.

‘This is a great season for me: breaking world records and becoming a world champion here, defending my title.’
‘Today I was chasing this title and I was chasing history. My plan was to get to the front and to go faster because I know these races can be up and down. I just got myself in front after 300m and nobody came.’


The rest of the field was fighting for silver, an honour that was eventually bestowed upon Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji. Sifan Hassan, who employed her usual strategy of running at the back of the pack until the final kick, was able to move into third to claim her fifth World Championships medal.

The Dutchwoman explained her joy after the race and confessed that she was unsure how she would fare over the distance.

‘Just a couple of weeks ago I was coming from the marathon and I was struggling to get my speed back…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.’

For Faith Kipyegon, this victory further establishes her as the very greatest female 1500m runner of all time. In the past seven years, the Kenyan has collected a handful of world records, two Olympic titles, three world titles, and a world championships silver – the only blemish, if you can call it that, on her otherwise flawless resume. It’s worth noting that this silver came shortly after she gave birth in 2018.

‘I was so afraid, maybe I will not come back, I will just disappear,’ she said, reflecting on the state of her career after the birth of her daughter.

‘I thought it was the end of my career, but it was the beginning.’


Indeed, it was. And at only 29 years of age, the Kenyan still has many years of running ahead of her.