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Faith Kipyegon's plans to transition to 5,000m after Olympic Games

ATHLETICS By Odero Charles | August 6th 2021
August 6, 2021. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates winning the gold medal and breaking the Olympic record REUTERS

Will Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon shift her focus to 5,000m after retaining her Olympics 1500 metres gold at the Olympic Stadium on Friday?

In an interview with Olympic.com last year, Faith Kipyegon revealed that she was considering a new challenge after the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“Hopefully I want to defend my title before I shift to 5,000m because I want to shift to 5,000m in the future. I want to defend my title in the 2020 Olympics and hopefully, I will do my best,” she said.

However, Faith is yet to confirm if she will be upgrading to the 5,000m event after winning her women’s 1,500m gold at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

She successfully defended her 1500m gold medal with an Olympic record time of 3:53.11.

The previous Olympic record of 3:53.96 was set by Romania's Paula Ivan in Seoul in 1988.

August 6, 2021. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and Laura Muir of Britain in action REUTERS

When asked if she can break the world record, she said she felt she was in top shape and even during the race yesterday, she was not concerned much with the opposition.

“I knew I was in top shape and was not really concerned with the tactics or the manner of the opposition. I might attempt a world record in future and will pray God to keep me fit,” she said.

Hassan had to settle for bronze as Britain's Laura Muir took silver at the Olympic Stadium.

Hassan came into the race as the newly-crowned 5,000m Olympic champion, a first of what she had hoped would be a hat-trick of golds. She also plans to compete in the 10,000m on Saturday.

Kipyegon came back stronger after she became a mother for the first time in 2018.

After the race, Faith was quick to give thanks to God for the win and also dedicated the gold medal to her daughter Alyn Kiprono, who she says she was sure  was watching the race back home in Kenya after leaving school early yesterday.

“I thank God for the win. I know Kenyans back home were praying for me to succeed here and I very happy that I was able to retain the gold medal that I won in Rio.

“This is my first gold medal as a mother and I want to say that this was more difficult to achieve than in Rio, but here I am as an Olympic champion again. Thank you Kenyans for praying for me and I am happy to have delivered the gold. This gold medal is for Alyn,” Faith said.

In 2019, Kipyegon made the switch to train under Patrick Sang in the now-legendary camp in Kaptagat. It has become a breeding ground for champions, and her training partners now include marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and half marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor.

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