Faith Chepng’etich Kibiegon, photo by PhotoRun.net
Laura Weightman, photo by PhotoRun.net
Kate Van Buskirk, photo by PhotoRun.net
In an absolutely exciting 1,500 meters, there were many surprises and not the least was Hellen Obiri’s rough race, and Kate Van Buskirk’s gutty third place. Laura Weightman is coming into her own, as she stayed on her feet with ninety meters to go, and kept the composure to sprint like mad and take the silver.
Faith Chepng’etich Kibiegon, who ran 3:56 for 1,500 meters last year and 8:23 for 3000 meters, is the real thing!
Here is Justin Lagat’s fine piece on the women’s 1,500 meters from Wednesday night, 30 July 2014.
Faith Chepng’etich Kibiegon wins the Women 1500m in Glasgow, by Justin Lagat
I have all along been wondering where I would ever get to apply the probability lessons I learned in mathematics some years ago in my life, but when two Kenyans finished in 1st and 6th positions at the same event in which they also finished in the same positions during the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, I was tempted to revisit the topic again to see whether I can predict Kenyan athlete’s finishing positions in their next major international outing next time. Nancy Jebet Langat had won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 while Irene Jelagat had finished in 6th position.
Those are the exact positions that the two top Kenyans at the Glasgow’s women 1500m took. Faith Chepng’etich won in a time of 4:08.94 While another Kenyan, Hellen Obiri finished 6th in 4:10.84.
Before she became a senior athlete in 2013, Faith Chepng’etich had a great career running as a junior athlete. She had won two gold medals at the world cross country championships, a gold in the world youth championships and still another one in the world junior championships, among many other impressive titles and performances as a junior runner.
The 20 year old, has entered the senior stage with full momentum having already won the Kenyan, then the African senior cross country championships in March this year. She was also part of the Kenyan women team that set a new world record in the women 4x1500m at the world relays in Bahamas.
However, the Kenyan whom much hope was vested upon by Kenyans in this event was Hellen Obiri who had started the year very well by winning a gold medal at the 2014 Sopot world indoor games. She was also part of the 4x1500m Kenyan relay team that won gold in Bahamas and had gone ahead after that to win the Eugene Diamond League race. But, unfortunately, it was not one of her best days during the Glasgow Games.
There are always peak and off-peak seasons for professional athletes.
The 1500m race in the Hampden stadium had started out at a moderate pace. All the three Kenyan athletes in this final event were running on lane two for the first one and half laps because there was too much crowding in the inside lane. They then all stepped at the front and continued to lead the rest in a parallel line, but then Selah Busienei soon dropped from the lead. At some point, Laura Weightman of England went to the front from the outside lane, but quickly decided to run just behind the leaders and on the inside lane.
The sprinting began as the athletes approached the bell and the two Kenyans managed to maintain the lead up until the last 150 meters when Obiri began to struggle. Two athletes, Laura Weightman and Kate Van Buskirk, immediately ran past her. Faith continued to open up a gap ahead as she neared the finishing and crossed the line ahead of England’s Weightman who finished in 4:09.24 and Canadian Buskirk who finished in 4:09.41.
Two other athletes passed by Obiri as her strength kept dwindling as she approached the finish line. It was one rare race that got medalists from three different continents; Africa, Europe and North America.
For now, Faith Kibiegon has just proven herself to be a force to reckon with in this event and it will worth watching out for her in the upcoming major competitions, especially leading up to next year’s world championships in Beijing and at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.