Middle distance queen Faith Kipyegon is eyeing a historic double

Who can beat Faith Kipyegon? Olympic champion in 1500 meters in 2016 in Rio and in Tokyo in 2021, two-time world champion in the distance (2017, 2022) and world record holder in the mile (1609.34 meters), 1500 meters and 5000 meters… The Kenyan crushes the middle distance with her sharp step. At the 2023 World Championships in Athletics, the 29-year-old athlete will brighten up the debate. She will covet not one but two crowns.

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“The 1,500 meters is still my favorite event, but I do very well over 5,000 meters. That is why I will double the events in Budapest”opened double Olympic champion a World Athletics Press Release. So she will be at the start of the 1500 meters final, Tuesday, August 22, at 9:30 p.m.; that of the 5,000 scheduled for Saturday, August 26, at 8:50 p.m.

The double has never been achieved before, but it seems within reach for the Kenyan, who has not left the podium since October 2019. The formidable Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegai, who had broken his teeth in Eugene (United) in the same double. states) last year seemed unable to resist him any longer. Faith Kipyegona is now fighting only against herself.

Three world records

She demonstrated her superiority this season. In eight days, she swept the records of Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba over 1500 meters, in Florence (Italy) – 3 min 49 s 11 – and of Letesenbeth Gideia over 5000 meters, in Paris – 14 min 5 s 20. A distance she had not run for eight years. “I started telling myself that I just wanted to beat my personal best and take on a new challenge. I still can’t believe it!”, she assured The worldstunned, in the corridors of the Charléty Stadium, on June 10.

2 months later, the scenario repeated itself in Monaco. Helped wave light – a light marker on the side of the track that provides information about the selected pace – the Kenyan broke the old world record a mile, until then belonged to the Dutchwoman Sifan Hasana. THE a mile, a British heritage, is not on the program for the Budapest World Championships, but the feat demonstrates its ruthless dominance. ” She can run so fast! She is impressive. She is making my job especially difficult right now. », Laura Muir, Tokyo Olympic vice-champion in the distance of 1500 meters, agrees.

“Run a marathon one day”

With records and medals in hand, one might rightly wonder what keeps Fite Kipyegon going. “Use more records!” I see myself pushing myself to a marathon”, one immediately answers from her one meter fifty seven height. In terms of versatility, the young woman has a lot to draw inspiration from: she trains with Patrick Sang at the center of Kaptagata (Kenya) along with Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder and former 5,000m world champion. Reference. “She has a similar attitude to life and racing as Eliud. I was really surprised (…). She never complains. She gets the job done”revealed Mr. Sang to Agence France-Presse.

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Georgie Collins

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