Kenyan middle-distance runner and double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon claimed a hat-trick of World Athletics Championship 1,500m Gold medals as she ran a perfect race to finish in a time of 3:54.87 in Tuesday’s final in Budapest, Hungary.
Ethiopian 21-year-old Diribe Welteji was the best of the rest as she took silver in 3:55.69, with Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, still heavily strapped after falling metres from the line while fighting for 10,000m gold three days ago, finishing well for bronze in 3:56.00.
“This is a great season for me – to break the world records and to become a world champion here, to defend my title, I am so grateful,” said Kipyegon, who set new marks over 1,500m, the mile and 5,000m in June and July.
“I was chasing history today and I was chasing this title. My plan was to get to the front then I just controlled the race and kept going faster and faster.”
Kipyegon, 29, has not lost over the distance for two years. Budapest is her sixth World Athletics Championship and she now has a remarkable haul of three golds, two silvers and a fifth place finish on her debut in 2013.
Avoiding any risk of a fall, Kipyegon hit the front from the start, though keeping a controlled pace. With the rest of the field effectively running for minor medals, nobody challenged her and when Kipyegon kicked for home at the bell she opened a huge lead and enjoyed a virtual lap of honour in advance.
Kipyegon and Hassan are likely to clash again later in the week when both race over 5,000m in Budapest.