Kipye­gon wins world 1500m, Se­menya bronze

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Faith Kipye­gon of Kenya added the world ti­tle to her Olympic crown af­ter sprint­ing to a thrilling vic­tory in the women’s 1500m on Mon­day as Caster Se­menya snatched bronze. In a fan­tas­tic race that erupted on the fi­nal lap, Kipye­gon held off all­com­ers, in­clud­ing dou­ble-hunt­ing Se­menya, down the home straight to clock 4min 02.59sec.

“I knew it would be fast, it is such a qual­ity field,” Kipye­gon said. “The best was go­ing to win here. It was al­ways go­ing to be quick and com­pet­i­tive. “I’m look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing this with my fam­ily.”

Amer­i­can Jen­nifer Simp­son claimed silver, at 0.17sec, with South Africa’s 800m spe­cial­ist Caster Se­menya tak­ing bronze (4:02.90). De­fend­ing world cham­pion Gen­zebe Dibaba fin­ished 12th and last, more than 4sec off the win­ning pace.

Simp­son said her coach had told her to “be will­ing to run your guts out and you’ll be great”. “So I did ex­actly what she did. The last 300m in par­tic­u­lar I ran my guts out and it paid off,” said Simp­son.

“Hav­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence is huge be­cause hav­ing the abil­ity to stay calm is so hard, es­pe­cially at the world cham­pi­onships when you’re rac­ing in a beau­ti­ful sta­dium like this. To come out with a medal, I think it was down to keep­ing my wits about me.”

Se­menya, who will now turn her at­ten­tion to win­ning a third world 800m ti­tle, added: “It was like mu­sic to me com­ing back to this sta­dium with all the mem­o­ries and I’m per­fectly sat­is­fied with the bronze.

“Ob­vi­ously a lot can­not go your way in a fi­nal, so to come out with a bronze is amaz­ing but I was hop­ing for a bet­ter time. “1500m is a tac­ti­cal race, I tried to find my own space but for­tu­nately I man­aged to get away with third.”

SE­MENYA PLAYS DOWN CON­TRO­VERSY

Se­menya played down the on­go­ing con­tro­versy sur­round­ing her el­e­vated lev­els of nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring testos­terone. “For me I have no time for that,” she said. “It’s been like this since 2009. For me, when you lis­ten to mu­sic and have one song play­ing each and ev­ery time... it’s been al­most nine years and it’s quite bor­ing. I have no time for that.” Laura Muir, one of two Bri­tons in the field led from the off, lay­ing down a 65sec first lap, with Kipye­gon a con­stant com­pan­ion on her out­side shoul­der.

Se­menya was her usual com­fort­able self in the mid­dle of the pack, with Dibaba be­hind her and the Nether­lands’ world in­door cham­pion Si­fan Has­san, who took bronze two years ago in Bei­jing, bring­ing up the rear. They went through 800m in a rel­a­tively se­date 2:17 be­fore Has­san moved up the field and kicked, Kipye­gon fol­low­ing. Sud­denly the pack split, Has­san and Kipye­gon look­ing to have the bat­tle for top of the podium to them­selves. But it was not to be, at least for the Ethiopian-born Dutch­woman. Se­menya left it late for her at­tack, eat­ing up the yards from ninth place with 200 me­tres to run.

As they hit the home stretch, Has­san tied up in dra­matic fash­ion, 2011 world cham­pion Simp­son timed her tac­ti­cally as­tute race to near per­fec­tion and Se­menya pow­ered through for bronze on her coat­tails. Muir pipped Has­san for fourth, while world record holder Dibaba could muster noth­ing worth­while in the sprint finish as she went back­wards. — AFP

LON­DON: Kenya’s Faith Chep­ngetich Kipye­gon, front, cel­e­brates as she wins the gold medal in the fi­nal of the Women’s 1500m dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Mon­day. South Africa’s Caster Se­menya, bronze, is in the rear. — AP

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