This piece is on the tough race that we witnessed on day 4 in the Women’s 1,500 meters.
By Sean MacPherson RunBlogRun
Blistering Pace Decides Women’s 1500 Meters Earlier Than Expected
Sometimes in championship distance races, there are fast finals. Sometimes, there are sit-and-kick finals where the race comes down to the final moments. And then, every once in a while, we get a race that is so fast that it turns into multiple races in one. That’s what fans were treated with at Monday’s Women’s 1500 meters at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon defended her 2020 Olympic title and won gold in 3:52.96. Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay placed second with a time of 3:54.52. Laura Muir of Great Britain earned bronze, finishing in 3:55.28.
“I’m so grateful,” said Kipyegon following the race, “I was running with a lot of pressure and I’ve shown that I’m strong.”
Ethiopians Gudaf Tsegay and Hirut Meshesha clearly had a plan to take the pace out hot. A pack of four that included Tsegay and Meshesha as well as Kipyegon and Muir immediately separated from the rest by running a 55.1-second opening lap.
By the time the trio of Kipyegon, Tsegay, and Muir crossed the 800-meter mark with a split of 2:03.08, the chase pack was staring at the leaders 3.90 seconds ahead. By that point, it would have taken a meltdown to break the podium.
“Gydaf Tsegay doesn’t know how to run from the back,” said Kipyegon, “I knew she was going to push the race so that she got the medal.”
After sitting on Tsegay’s heels for much of the race, much to the displeasure of the Ethiopian, Kipyegon surged and took over the lead with 250 meters to go. With 150 to go, it was close to a sure thing that Kipyegon would take gold, Tsegay silver, and Muir would grab bronze.
“I really thank [Tsegay] that she went in front,” said Kipyegon, “The three of us went like that, and the medals were already won.”
This 1500-meter final also featured two Americans, Sinclaire Johnson and Cory McGee. Both athletes fell victim to the wicked pace and spent the race watching the medalists run away. Johnson, the U.S. Champion, earned sixth place in 4:01.63. Cory McGee finished in 10th place in a time of 4:03.70.
“I think all of us in that second pack want to be where they’re at,” said Johnson following the race, “I obviously didn’t know it was gonna go out as fast as it did, but we’ve gotta be ready for it, and that’s the level we have to get to.”