Welcome to the World Champs 2023 Preview, Day 5.
For the next 40 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.
Today’s topic is on athletes from Africa.
We want to speak about the Queen of the 1,500 meters, Faith Kipyegon. Faith has won a medal in every championship that she has been in since 2014!
Faith Kipyegon may be the finest 1,500-meter runner, male or female, of her generation.
Faith’s first senior medal was in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she took gold in the 1,500 meters in Glasgow, Scotland.
In 2015, Faith took the silver medal in the 1,500 meters in Beijing at the World Championships, with Genzebe Dibaba taking the gold and Sifan Hassan taking the bronze.
Faith Kipyegon took her first Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro, taking gold over the last 200 meters from the woman who beat her in Beijing, Genzebe Dibaba. The pace in Rio was terribly fast over the last 800 meters. Kipyegon ran 56.0 for the third lap and covered the last 800 meters over 1:57.2! Dibaba took the silver behind Faith Kipyegon, and American Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World Champion, took the bronze.
After taking silver in Beijing, Faith Kipygeon took her first title in London World Champs. Faith Kipyegon had a great build-up to London, winning Diamond League races in Shanghai, Eugene, and Brussels. Faith’s ability to handle a fast pace or come from behind and run a debilitating last two laps (well, for everyone else).
In front of 80,000 screaming fans in London, Faith Kipyegon took the 1,500m, her first World Championship gold, in 4:02.59, with Jenny Simpson in silver and Caster Semenya in bronze.
Faith Kiypegon had a baby in 2018, coming back in June 2019 to win the Pre Classic, which had been moved to Palo Alto, CA, due to the building of the new Hayward Field, which would house the World Championships in 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.
Faith took silver in the Doha 2019 World Champs, setting a new Keyan record of 3:54.22. Genzebe Dibaba, ETH, took the gold in 3:51.95, and Gudaf Tsegay, ETH, took the bronze.
It was pretty remarkable for Faith Kipyegon to have a baby and win a silver medal just a year later!
2021 was an amazing year for Faith Kipyegon. At the Rome Golden Gala (held in Florence) in June, Faith Kipyegon set a new Kenyan record of 3:53.91, just behind Sifan Hassan. The places changed in Monaco, where Faith Kipyegon took the win in 3:51.07, with Sifan Hassan just 2.5 seconds behind.
The Olympics, held in Tokyo in 2021, gave Faith her second Olympic gold medal, as Faith Kipyegon battled Sifan Hassan until the home stretch, when Hassan faded, with Laura Muir catching Hassan for the silver, setting a British NR. Hassan took the bronze (she also had gold in the 10,000m and 5,000m in Tokyo as well).
Faith Kipyegon is relentless. In 2022, Faith wanted the second World Championships title, and she got it. In a terribly fast race, Faith was relentless, taking the gold with a huge drive for home, winning in 3:52.96, with Gudaf Tsegay taking the silver in 3:54.52 and Laura Muir taking the bronze in 3:55.28.
In August 2022, Faith Kipyegon took the win but a second National record in 3:50.37, a mere 0.3 off the WR of one Genzebe Dibaba.
Faith Kipyegon is a tremendously gifted athlete, who works hard, has a great support group, and has a loving family. Faith is married to the 2012 Olympic 800m bronze medalist, Timothy Kitum, with a daughter, Alyn. She thanks them all after her great victories.
Never discount her faith, not braggy confidence, but a quiet confidence. In 2022, after winning Eugene, Faith told the media, “I knew everything was possible”.
What will she do in Budapest? We can not wait to see this fine runner from Kenya and the sports continent of Africa compete in Central Europe. The fans will see a memorable event, perhaps even a historic event!
The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/
Your favorite writer suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.
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