- Kipyegon was tactically flawless as she clinched gold in the women's 1500m final
- The Kenyan burst into life in the final 300m to completely blow away arch-rival Sifan Hassan, who finished third
- Her victory earned Kenya the second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics
- The Kenyan's time of 3:53:11 also set a new Olympic record
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon earned the country her second gold of the Tokyo Olympics thanks to an emphatic performance in the women’s 1500m finals.
Kipyegon was too powerful for pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who finished third after a slight mishap in her steps in the final 200 metres.
Great Britain’s Laura Muir, who also ran an impressive race, won silver.
The 1500m women’s final was one of the most anticipated races on Friday, August 6, especially because stakes were extremely high for Kipyegon.
Many saw the race as a derby between Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan, who have developed a fierce rivalry that dates back to 2016.
The pair was locked in an intense head to head battle in the first two laps as they plugged away from the main pack early enough.
Hassan looked comfortable in the lead in the first 1000m of the race, but Kipyegon did a good job in keeping up the pace, with Britain’s Laura slightly behind in third.
When the bell rang to indicate the final lap, Kipyegon unleashed a powerful surge of pace as she gradually established some distance between herself and Hassan, whose power seemed to be dying out when it mattered.
Hassan eventually took a false step in the final 200 metres which enabled Britain’s Laura to overtake her but first place was already spoken for by the evergreen Kipyegon.
Kipyegon breaks record
Thanks to her time of 3:53:11, the Kenyan enjoyed double delight as her victory also meant she had broken a 33-year old record in the races, which was previously held by Romanian Paula Ivan (3:53.11).
Kipyegon also became the first Kenyan to successfully defend her title in the race as she won the same in the Rio Olympics five years ago.
"I am so happy. It was something I didn't really expect and I made it," said Kipyegon as quoted by Nation.
"It was a really fast race, I knew it will be going until the last lap.
"To get the Olympic record is just amazing to me. I am so happy. I knew it would be a tough race being there with Sifan and Laura.
Not Sifan Hassan’s day
For Hassan, third place will be a tough pill to swallow, especially because she was a heavy favourite in the race.
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At the very least, she was expected to clinch silver, but it just did not happen for her on the day.
"I did my best and made it a fast race. I could not have done anything else. I have already run so many kilometres, so I am super happy." Hassan said.
She however produced one of the most remarkable moments in the Olympics after recovering from a fall in the 1500m heats to qualify.
A couple of hours later, she was competing in the 5000m women’s final where she won in a race where Kenya’s Obiri came in second place.