KIPYEGON ADDS 5000M GOLD AT WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.
BUDAPEST (26-Aug) — They knew it was coming, but they just couldn’t stop it.
In the women’s 5000m final here tonight at the National Athletics Center, every woman in the field knew that Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon would set the race up for a last-lap sprint. At the 3000m mark, hit in a sluggish 9:16.55, it became obvious that Kipyegon would be in prime position to use her other-worldly closing speed to put the race away in the final two laps.
“I felt really good until the last 300,” said American Elise Cranny, who finished ninth in 14:59.22. “And then they just had a whole ‘nother gear.”
Indeed, at the bell Kipyegon, Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan (running her third and final event at these championships), Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, and Kenyan Beatrice Chebet all hit the gas. Kipyegon pulled all of them down the backstretch, and with 200 meters to go Tsegay could not keep up (she would fade to 13th place at the finish). Hassan and Chebet were sprinting full out, but Kipyegon was still pulling away. She completed her final circuit in 56.6 seconds and got the win in 14:53.88. Hassan got silver in 14:54.11, and Chebet the bronze in 14:54.33.
“Things have been incredible here,” said Kipyegon, who won the 1500m gold medal four days ago. She continued: “This (medal) I dedicate to my husband. He has been supportive for my success. He’s the most amazing husband I (could) ever have.”
Kipyegon, who said that she would contest the Wanda Diamond League final in Eugene in mid-September, is now the only woman to win both the 1500m and 5000m at a World Athletics Championships (the 5000m was first run for women in 1995; prior to that women ran the 3000m). Mary Decker (USA) won the 1500m and 3000m in 1983, and Tetyana Samolenko of the Soviet Union did the same double in 1987, but those distances are much closer.
Earlier this year, Kipyegon set world records for 1500m (3:49.11), one mile (4:07.64), and 5000m (14:05.20). She is immensely popular in Kenya, including with president William Ruto, but she said she is fundamentally unchanged.
“It’s an amazing thing for people to know me, to cheer me,” Kipyegon said. “It’s been an incredible season.” She added: “I’m still the same Faith. I try to be myself and try to be humble, and be friends to everybody. I’m still the same.”
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