Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon breaks her world 1,500m record in Paris

Faith Kipyegon

Faith Kipyegon after setting a new world record in the women's 1500m at Paris Diamond League on July 7, 2024.

Photo credit: Reuters

Multiple Olympics and world 1,500 metres champion, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, has broken her own 1,500m world record in Paris Diamond League.

Kipyegon, the two-time Olympic 1,500m champion, obliterated her previous record set slightly over a year ago by 0.07 seconds yesterday when she won her race in a blistering three minutes and 49.04 seconds in the eighth leg of the Diamond League.

Kipyegon claimed the world record for the first time on June 2, last year in Florence, Italy, winning in 3:49.11, to erase the previous record of 3:50.07 set by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba on July 17, 2015.

On Sunday, July 7, she broke her own record at the same event where she broke the 5,000m world record of 14:06.62, which had been set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia on October 7, 2020 when the Ethiopian ran 14:05.20

The 30-year-old mother of one is preparing to stage a second defence of the Olympics 1,500m title in the Paris Summer Games that will run from July 26 to August 11 in the French capital city.

Kipyegon took charge of the race after two pacesetters paved the way with 600m to go, just as Australian Jessica Hull had positioned herself a stride behind.

Third lap

The early pace proved fast as Kipyegon covered 800m in 2:04, and the third lap in 60.8 seconds before she injected more pace in the race. She kicked at the bell and opened up a gap over Hull, striding clear to win as Hull finished second in 3:50.83, smashing her own Oceanian record to move to fifth on the world all-time list. Briton Laura Muir was third in a British record of 3:53.79.

 “I knew the world record was possible because I recently ran very fast in Kenya,” Kipyegon, who won the Kenyan Olympic trials with the fastest time on the continent of 3:53.98, said.

 “I was coming here to just run my race and to see what shape I’m in as I prepare to defend my title at the Olympics.

 “It feels amazing to break the world record here, and this shows that I am in the right direction towards the Paris Olympics,” Kipyegon, who recovered from an injury this season, said.

Kipyego said that she realised that she was in a world record shape after the Kenyan trials held last month.

 “I ran the quickest time in Kenya with the altitude. It showed me that I was capable of breaking the world record again,” said Kipyegon, adding that she was determined to go for the record.

 “Jessica was really good, I felt that she was behind me and I had to be careful because you never know if something can happen,” explained Kipyegon.

Receptive crowd

 “I knew that Jessica is strong because she has broken the area record many times,” said Kipyegon, who also paid tribute to the receptive crowd in Paris that gave her the energy to push hard to the finish line.

 “I will absolutely do the double in Paris, in the 1500m and 5000m,” said Kipyegon. Kipyegon broke three world records last year. Kipyegon’s first world record came at the Florence Diamond League on June 2 when she broke Dibaba’s record before breaking the 5,000m world record a week later. She clocked 4:07.64 at Monaco Diamond on July 21 to obliterate the previous One Mile record of 4:12.33 set by Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan at the same venue in 2019.

Kipyegon, the 2017 and 2019 world 1,500m champion, made history last year when she became the first woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m world titles in a single championship.

 She also made history as the first woman to complete a hat-trick of world titles in the metric mile race.

Kipyegon, the winner at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will again be aiming to make history not only as the first woman to complete a hat-trick in 1,500m at the Olympics but also the first to claim both 1,500m and 5,000m at a particular Olympics.