Sifan Hassan and Co plot to burst Faith Kipyegon's bubble as another golden moment beckons

@Eric Barasa

Sifan Hassan and Co plot to burst Faith Kipyegon's bubble as another golden moment beckons

James Magayi • 14:00 - 22.08.2023

Sifan Hassan, Haylom, Welteji, and Laura Muir stand in her way as she guns for a third World Championships gold medal tonight.

There is an air of invincibility surrounding Kenya’s middle-distance star, Faith Kipyegon as the women’s 1500m final penciled for tonight at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary approaches.

Not even the presence of Dutch legend Sifan Hassan, Britain’s poster girl Laura Muir and Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji attempts to shake the faith that Kipyegon is headed for more track glory.

After obliterating three world records within three months, the 29-year-old mother of one is everybody’s favorite to claim gold tonight when twelve women line up for the 1500m final.

She makes winning look easy but it is not. Ask Sifan Hassan who tumbled ten meters on the wrong side of the finish line and lost not just a probable gold but everything after putting in 25 hard laps in the women’s 10000m final.

Hassan is hurting and the Dutch are hoping she can conjure something to console a nation that so tragically capitulated in one night when victory seemed theirs. Another one of their legends Femke Bol also took a tumble when the Mixed 4x400m relay gold was in sight.

They are hurting. They need a lift. They hope Sifan Hassan can provide it. So Faith Kipyegon will work hard to get her third gold medal in the World Championships. Her record-breaking time of 3:49.11 is way beyond that of closest competitors tonight with Hassan boasting of 3:55.48 and Welteji having a 3:55.08.

Another gutsy youngster Birke Haylom of Ethiopia has notched a sub 3:55 performance and should form part of Kipyegon’s fiercest rivalry. Kipyegon will only have compatriot Nelly Chepchirchir as an ally but the former’s front running trait does not allow for the much-hyped teamwork. It will be pretty much every Kenyan for herself.

Kipyegon is gunning for two medals in Budapest; her favorite 1500m and the newfound love for 5000m. Tonight provides the platform for her first chance at gold before she faces familiar foes in the 5000m.