NAIROBI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — There will be no love lost when Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba and Netherlands’ world indoor champion Sifan Hassan face off in the 1,500m race at the London World Championships starting Thursday.
Kipyegon will be among the six women, who have run faster than 4:00.00 this season eyeing the world title in London. This makes the four-lap race one of the most competitive events of the championships.The three favourites are the top three on the world list, all with sub-3:58 clocking in 2017 – and all have proven themselves as prolific major championship racers. Kipyegon and Hassan have won two IAAF Diamond League meetings each this season. Kipyegon triumphed in Shanghai and Eugene and the latter in Rome and Paris – while Dibaba, who may not be in 3:50.07 world record form of two years ago, has clocked 3:57.82 en route to her 4:16.05 mile victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne last month. “There is always a new challenge coming up each year and that is what makes this race interesting. I have prepared well knowing that there will be no element of surprise from me because after my win in Rio, everyone wants to beat me,” said Cheruiyot. “But I will take up the challenge in my strides and hope to emerge victorious. It will feel nice to hold both the world and Olympic titles.”
Despite only boasting a season’s best of 4:00.35 – in part due to racing sparingly early season due to a foot injury – Britain’s Laura Muir is another medal contender.She will be doubling up with the 5000m in London, but the 1500m comes first and does not overlap with the longer event. An interesting entry in this event is twice world 800m champion Caster Semenya of South Africa. Despite a modest 1500m season’s best, with her 1:55.27 800m speed and her dominance in the two-lap event this season, she could well be a force over the metric mile in London too, particularly if the race is tactical and comes down to a fast finish. Other likely contenders include Sweden’s Meraf Bahta, Ethiopians Besu Sado and 18-year-old world U20 silver medallist Fantu Worku, Morocco’s Rababe Arafi and Poland’s Angelika Chichocka, who won the IAAF Diamond League Meeting in Rabat.