Oh Kipyegon, great is your Faith

By Stephen Rutto | Jun 05, 2023
Faith Kipyegon celebrates after breaking the women's 1500m world record.[World Athletics]

After sensationally smashing an eight-year-old 1500m world record at the Florence Diamond League in Rome on Friday night, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is not taking a rest.

Chepngetich, 29, is seeking to run 5,000m at the next Diamond League stop in Paris, France on Friday.

The double Olympic and World champion ran a jaw-dropping 3:49.11 to shatter the previous 3:50.07 time set by Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba in Monaco in 2015.

She left Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir of Great Britain and Australia’s Jessica Hull battling for second place. Muir finished second (3:57.09) while Hull was third in 3:57.29 in the Florence race.

Moments after the historic World Record run, Chepngetich told international media during a question-answer session that she was preparing to race 5,000m in Paris (onFriday) as she eyes a transition to the 12.5-lap distance after the 2024 Olympics, which will also be staged in the French capital.

Chepngetich said she would use the Friday 5,000m contest to gauge her performance in the distance after shattering the world record, before deciding on switching to the distance.

She said she was considering switching to 5,000m and eventually to the marathon after the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Meanwhile, the main focus is on defending the World 1500m title at the global showpiece scheduled for Budapest, Hungary from August 19 to 27, Chepngetich told the international press in Rome.

When asked whether she would continue running 1500m after Paris Olympics, an articulate Chepngetich said: “Next week (on Friday) I will be doing 5,000m in Paris to see what I can do in the distance. After Paris (2024) I might switch to 5,000m. I like 5,000m; it is a long distance.”

“After the Olympic Games, we will see what is possible. I am going to try if I can switch to 5,000m and thus go forward to the marathon.”

She clocked 14:31.95 the last time she ran 5,000m in Eugene, United States in 2015, but she is confident of a brilliant transition to the long distance.

Her main challenger in 1500m, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands launched her marathon career in style, winning this year’s London Marathon.

“There are very strong women in 5,000m at the Paris Diamond League but I am going to run my race and feel how my body responds to the long distance," she said.

Chepngetich grew up in Keringet, Nakuru County and she's eighth child in a family of nine children.

According to a World Athletics report in 2016, Chepngetich was a football player when she was 14, but discovered her athletics prowess after lining up for a one-kilometre run in a Physical Exercise session.

She made her international debut in 2010, representing the country at the world cross country championships. She won her first junior world cross title in 2011.

Chepngetich trains under coach Patrick Sang, who is also credited for shaping marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s career.

“I was not expecting to run a world record. I was looking forward to a 3:54 World Lead, and the World Record came as a surprise. The crowd was nice and that is why I was pushing the final 400m knowing that I had left behind the wave light and everything was possible on the front,” she said.

Share this story