2020 Doha Diamond League: Faith Kipyegon, athlete of the year?


faith©etiennefiacre.jpgFaith Kipyegon, photo by Etienne Fiacre

Faith Kipyegon has had a good season in 2020. Today, the 800m speed that she displayed showed that she could double in 2021, and Stuart Weir thinks that she could be the 2020 athlete of the year?

Faith Kipyegon, athlete of the year?

Faith Kipyego has run only four races this year and won them all! They were two 1000 meter races (in Monaco and Brussels), a 1500 in Ostrava and the 800 in Doha. Four races, four wins. Ironically four races is one less than she ran in 2019, having not run at all in 2018, being on materity leave. The 2016 Olympic champion and 2017 World champion is back with a vengeance.

The pacemaker took the athletes through the first lap in 57.72 and when the pacemaker dropped out, it was Faith who took up the running and never looked like being caught, finishing in a world leading 1:57.68, leaving the 800m specialists in her wake. She commented: "I am happy to win here in Doha considering this is my second 800m race after about three years break from it. I wasn't really expecting to win and that's why I am very surprised not only with the win but with my record here tonight. It's a great feeling and I am happy to be here in Doha. The year has been a disturbing one for everyone and I am glad it is coming to an end. We can't wait enough for 2021 to be here. I am going back home to celebrate with my husband and daughter and after that start the preparation for next year and particularly for the Olympics".

Esther Guerrero (Spain) was second in 1:59.22 and Britain's Adelle Tracey third in 1.59.87.

Last month I spoke to Faith and she told me about the challenges of 2020: "I've been training but in isolation near Eldoret. We no longer train as a group. It is either two people or on your own. It is not nice because I'm used to training in a group. Training alone is very hard. I was doing fartlek and 5K speed endurance".

Exactly a year ago she failed to defend her world title - in Doha - but she felt it had still been a good performance: "Actually I thought it was really good. Coming back from maternity leave, running a PB of 3:54 was not easy. I was coming back from injury so I didn't win but I thank God for a silver medal".

Coming back from maternity leave after her daughter, Alyn, was born in June 2018 was not easy, she told me: "I took eight months off when I was feeding the baby and then started to do exercise, building up slowly. Coming back was hard - really hard. Reducing weight is not easy. I just had to make progress slowly. My management was telling me not to rush but to take it easy and that I would be back for Doha 2019. And I did it".

Her performance in Doha was so impressive that Steve Cram in commentary was wondering if she might try to do an 800 and 1500 double in Tokyo. And Mr. Cram knows a bit about middle-distance running.

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required