Faith Chepngetich wins 1,500m gold in Tokyo and sets new Olympic record
WOMEN IN SPORTS By Bismarck Mutahi in Tokyo, Japan | August 6th 2021
It was one gold medal that most Kenyans expected no matter the circumstances or the conditions that the athletes were up against at the Tokyo Olympics.
As if that is not enough, Faith Chepngetich confirmed that she had read social media messages and saw how Kenyans were really praying that she wins the race.
And Faith never disappointed as she repaid the paid faith that Kenyans had in her by delivering the 1,500m gold medal on Friday at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
She also did that in style by not only retaining the gold medal that she won five years ago in Rio, Brazil but she did it with an Olympic record and in the process beat the new 5,000m Olympic champion Sifan Hassan of Netherlands.
Faith won the gold medal in 3:53.11, a new Olympic record with Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Laura Muir winning silver in a national record of 3:54.50 while Hassan who had done most of the running settled for bronze in 3:55.86.
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 she was watching the race back home in Kenya after leaving school early on Friday.
“I thank God for the win. I know Kenyans back home were praying for me to succeed here and I am 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 for you. This gold medal is for Alyn,” Faith said.
The two-time Olympic champion said she expected a faster race and was not surprised by the Olympics record, saying she can run even faster.
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 to God to keep me fit, but for now I want to celebrate my victory here,” Faith said.
Hassan decided to do the early running from the bell and Faith was not moved as she decided to just stay behind the 5,000m, but made the move with 300m to go and Hassan and Laura who had overtaken the Dutch woman could not catch up and Faith went on to make her daughter who had to leave school early proud.
12am: Women marathon
1:45pm: 10,000m women final
2:40pm: 1,500m men final