Why Kipyegon is the best athlete in the world now

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates after the Women's 1500m final of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 in Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 22, 2023. [Xinhua]

Ladies and gentlemen, here is our new queen of the track and the Greatest of All Time –Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon!

She has done it. She has made our nation proud. Her athletics script appears to have come straight from heaven this season.

Not even the disciples could stop her insatiable hunger for glory –but only God. She is the undisputed top female athlete on the planet this year.

She is now a three-time world champion in 1500m and also won the 5000m world title on Saturday to add to her already impressive collection of world records in 1500m, 5000m and the Mile, all achieved this year.

Such good shows has no doubt warmed the Kenyan hearts and redeemed hopes 12 years after Vivian Cheruiyot –then in tip top form, won the 2011 World Cross Country Championships title in Punta Umbria, Spain and then chalked a double (5000m and 10,000m) gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Sadly, she missed the World Athlete of the year award to Australian 100m hurdles athlete Sally Pearson in what raised eyebrows.

That came after world 800m record holder David Rudisha emerged as the first Kenyan to win the World Athlete of the Year title in 2010.

Daniel Kipng’etich Komen, who holds two world records (3000m outdoor and two mile), lost the coveted award by a single vote in 1996.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge won it in 2018 and 2019. It now remains to be seen if Kipyegon will join the club of World Athlete of the Year stars.

She has what it takes. From her smooth running with swift steps, the economical movement of the arms and a text book distance running style; Kipyegon has certainly wowed global athletics scene.

Her blow dried hair has remained her distinctive feature for some time. But that has featured prominently in three occasions –at the 2016 Olympic Games, 2017 World Athletics Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games –save for a series of World Athletics Diamond League meetings across the globe.

It was a spectacular sight to behold watching her become the first woman in the world to dip under 3:50 in 1500m –as she set the world record of 3:49.11 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Florence, Italy.

Kipyegon has been dropping one second every year since 2021. That’s 3:51 in 2021, 3:50 in 2022 and 3:49 this year.

But there are so many incredible things about her impressive shows in the 1500m. She took almost a full second off the old record held by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba. She produced brilliant closing splits of 2:00.6 for 800m, 58.9 seconds for 400m and 29.2 seconds for 200m. That made her own half of the 14 fastest performances in the race’s history.

Like many other world beating female athletes returning from maternity, Kipyegon has been in imperious form since giving birth in 2018.

Other top stars to have staged impressive comebacks after maternity include 2018 London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot, Boston Marathon winner Hellen Obiri, Britain’s former world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe and Ethiopia’s track assassin Tirunesh Dibaba.

She has made history as the first three-time world champion in 1500m and, at best, a double world champion.

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