Faith Kipyegon assessed
Last summer, Faith Kipyegon set three world records in a 7 week period – 2 in 8 days
1500m (Florence) 3:49.11
5000m (Paris) 14:05.20
1 mile (Monaco) 4:07.64
I was privileged to be in the stadium each time and speak to Faith afterwards. After the final world record of the summer in Monaco, she told me: “It was a blessing to do this with these ladies. I can see that they are all happy for me, and it is so emotional. It is a blessing, it just does not happen every time you run. I have to say ‘thank God for this’. I really enjoyed the race. I wanted to chase the world record, and thank God, it was amazing. When I started this season, my goal was to just break the 1500 WR. That was in my head and in my mind. Thank God I did also the 1 mile and the 5000”.
I had spoken to her in Florence the day before the 1500m race when she told me she was confident that she could break the world record for 1500m in 2023, but definitely not in Florence – then she went out and did it.
So much has been written about Faith’s achievement and by people who know more than me. The assessment of Faith in this piece comes not from me but from two athletes who were in the races. It reminds me of an occasion when I heard Kriss Akabusi ask if he had ever run with Ed Moses. Akabusi surprised the questioner by saying, “No, I have never run with Ed Moses,” before adding “, But I have run behind him many times!”
Ciara Mageean was in the mile and 1500m world record races, as well as following Faith in Budapest and the Diamond League final. Her assessment of Faith is: “The Women’s 1500 is being brought into a whole new realm of times and places, and I do believe that’s huge thanks to Faith and what she’s doing up at the front. She’s bringing all the rest of us with us and raising the bar of what we expect of ourselves and what you need to do whenever you’re coming to major champs. I’ve said before that it’s tough being in a generation of the women’s 1500 metres being just as spectacular as it is because the times that I’m running would have won major medals in the past.
“I look at athletes I really look up to like Jenny Simpson, who medalled at major champs with a really good astute tactical mindset, when she may not have been the fastest athlete in the race, and she was able to come out of…