What you need to know:
- Kipyegon became the first woman in history to sweep the 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres gold medals in one world championships during the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships that ended on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary
- Kipyegon said that the world should brace for more historic moments at next year’s Paris Olympics Games where she wants to become the first woman to win three gold medals in 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m
- Moraa upgraded her bronze medal from Oregon with gold in Budapest, adding the medals to her Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles
World champions Faith Kipyegon and Mary Moraa have told Kenyans and the world to expect more from them in the coming years.
Kipyegon became the first woman in history to sweep the 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres gold medals in one world championships during the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships that ended on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.
Kipyegon, 29, accomplished the feat a month after she shattered world records in the 1,500m, 5,000m, and one mile races.
The 23-year-old Moraa helped Kenya recapture the 800m crown after a decade, stunning defending world champion Athing Mu from United States of America (USA) and world silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain.
Kipyegon and Moraa were speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday night upon arrival from Budapest.
Principal Secretaries Peter Tum (Sports), Ummi Bashir (Culture and Heritage) and Ismail Maalim Madey (Youth Affairs) were at hand to receive Kipyegon and Moraa, who were the only gold medallists from Budapest.
Athletics Kenya officials David Miano (Treasurer), Dimmi Kisalu (Deputy Treasurer) and Barnaba Korir (Youth and Development) were also at the airport to welcome the athletes amidst songs and dance from Bomas of Kenya Harambee and Kenya Utamaduni Ngoma dancers.
Kipyegon said that the world should brace for more historic moments at next year’s Paris Olympics Games where she wants to become the first woman to win three gold medals in 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m.
More so, Kipyegon, the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics 1,500m gold medallist, also wants to target the 10,000m world record in the coming months. Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia holds the 10,000m world record time of 29:01.03 set on June 8, 2021.
“Expect more from me since I am still strong...I will be moving to marathon after the Paris Olympics. I want to graduate slowly and be consistent in what I do,” said the 29-year-old Kipyegon.
Kipyegon, who completed a hat-trick of victories in 1,500m after previous exploits in 2017 London and 2022 Oregon, hopes that her achievements will help inspire more young women to take up athletics and embrace motherhood.
Kipyegon described her feat of breaking three world records besides claiming two world titles as phenomenal and the most exciting thing in her life.
“These achievements have for sure transformed my life. They are a huge motivation for me to do more and train hard,” Kipyegon said. “I want to push myself more not only for accolades in athletics but empower young girls that everything is possible in life.”
Kipyegon dedicated her world 1,500m title to coach Patrick Sang and the world 5,000m crown to her husband Timothy Kitum but intends to celebrate both victories with her daughter Alyne.
The first of Kipyegon’s world records was set at the Florence Diamond League meeting on June 2 when she ran 3:49.11 to break the world 1,500m record of 3:50.07 set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in Monaco on July 17, 2015.
Her achievement in Florence officially cemented her legacy as the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) in women’s middle-distance running after adding the world record to her collection.
A week later, she raced at the Paris Diamond League, on June 9 and stepped up to the 5, 000m.
While her original aim might not have been the world record of 14:06.62 set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia on October 7, 2020, Kipyegon still broke it, running 14:05.20 in just her third-ever race at the distance.
Kipyegon clocked 4:07.64 in Monaco 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.
“I still can’t believe I hold the 5,000m world record. It’s something that I never planned since it was my 5,000m race in eight years,” said Kipyegon.
Moraa upgraded her bronze medal from Oregon with gold in Budapest, adding the medals to her Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles.
Moraa, who won the world title in personal best 1:56.03 has managed to accomplish all these within one year.
“My next target is the Olympic title in Paris next year,” said Moraa, adding that it will take good planning to break the 800m world record of 1:53.28 set by Jarmila Kratochvílová of Czech on July 26, 1983.