© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics Illustrated

Below are the top-52 female 1500-metre runners all-time. These 52 athletes have produced the top-100 times in history. Some have multiple results in the top-100. The 100th fastest time is by Faith Kipyegon of Kenya at 3:58.01. Only an athlete’s personal best is indicated.

Under the column: “notes” is very limited information on why their performance(s) are suspected of being aided by performance enhancing drugs or contains notes of controversy related to the athlete. For example, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba’s Coach Jama Aden was arrested during a raid on his hotel room in Spain. Although the Spanish authorities claim to have found performance enhancing drugs and needles in his hotel room and claim to have witnessed him disposing of used needles, he was let go without charges.

Apparently 20 of the 22 athletes that were found at the hotel were tested on the spot, however, zero tested positive for banned products.

The note: “Ma’s Army” relates to Ma Junren, who was fired by the Chinese authorities as six of his athletes tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Some of his athletes admitted years later that they took performance enhancing drugs unknowingly as Junren apparently lied to them about their supplements. Their records have been considered suspicious since.

The note: “Russian system” assumes – and this is presumptuous – that the Russian athlete have likely taken performance enhancing drugs, as the Russian state doping system forced athletes to take PEDs. Some of the athletes were suspended for swapping urine samples, refusing to take tests and tested positive for PEDs, however, some have no record whatsoever.

Any notes related to doping suspicions does not directly implicate any athlete including american Mary Slaney, who was suspended and reinstated and the banned amount/ratio of testosterone were adjusted after she was re-instated. Romania’s Gabriela Szabo was transporting drugs in her car; however, there is no proof that she consumed any.

It is interesting to note that exactly half of the competitors during the 2012 London Olympic 1500-metre finals were doped, six of 12.


First Name Last Name Country Year of record   Notes
Genzebe Dibaba ETH 2015 3:50.07 Coach Jama Aden arrested,
but not charged
Qu Yunxia CHN 1993 3:50.46 Ma’s Army
Jiang Bo CHN 1997 3:50.98 Ma’s Army
Lang Yinglai CHN 1997 3:51.34 Ma’s Army
Wang Junxia CHN 1993 3:51.92 Ma’s Army
Tatyana Kazankina RUS 1980 3:52.47 Russian system/suspended,
refused drug test
Yin Lili CHN 1997 3:53.91 Ma’s Army
Paula Ivan ROU 1988 3:53.96
Lan Lixin CHN 1997 3:53.97 Ma’s Army
Olga Dvirna RUS 1982 3:54.23 Russian system
Zhang Ling CHN 1997 3:54.52 Ma’s Army
Dong Yanmei CHN 1997 3:55.82 Ma’s Army
Laura Muir GBR 2016 3:55.22
Hassiba Boulmerka ALG 1992 3:55.30
Sureyya Ayhan-Kop TUR 2003 3:55.33 Tested positive for Steroids/
Obstruction of testing
Qu Yunxia CHN 1997 3:55.38 Ma’s Army
Yuliya Chizhenko RUS 2006 3:55.68 Russian system/
suspended manipulating
Sifan Hassan NED 2015 3:56.05
Zamira Zaytseva UZB/USSR 1982 3:56.14 Russian system
Maryam Yusuf Jamal BRN 2006 3:56.18
Shannon Rowbury US 2015 3:56.29
Liu Dong CHN 1997 3:56.31 Ma’s Army
Faith Kipyegon KEN 2016 3:56.41
Yelena Soboleva RUS 2006 3:56.43 Russian system
Tatyana Pozdnyakova UKR/RUS 1982 3:56.50 Russian, ran 2:31
marathon at age 50
Abebe Arigawi ETH 2012 3:56.54 Tested positive for
Nadezhda Ralldugina RUS 1984 3:56.53 Russian system
Yekaterina Podkopayeva RUS 1984 3:56.65 Russian system
Lyubov Smolka UKR/RUS 1980 3:56.70 Russian system
Doina Melinte ROU 1986 3:56.70
Svetlana Masterkova RUS 1996 3:56.77 Russian system
Nadezhda Olizarenko UKR/RUS 1980 3:56.80 Russian system
Zamira Zaytseva UZB/RUS 1980 3:56.90 Russian system
Lyudmila Rogachova RUS 1992 3:56.91 Russian system
Gabriela Szabo ROU 1998 3:56.97 Drugs seized/arrested
but cleared of wrongdoing
Liu Jing CHN 1997 3:57.03 Ma’s Army
Svetlana Guskova MDA/RUS 1982 3:57.05 Russian system
Mary Slaney US 1983 3:57.12 Banned/Reinstated –
Maricica Puica POR 1984 3:57.22
Jennifer Simpson US 2014 3:57.22
Totka Petrova BUL 1979 3:57.40
Suzy Favor Hamilton US 2000 3:57.40
Jackline Maranga KEN 1998 3:57.41
Zhang Linli CHN 1993 3:57.46 Ma’s Army
Tatyana Tomashova RUS 2006 3:57.50 Russian system/
tampering w/ urine
Christiane Wartenberg GDR 1980 3:57.71 East German system
Carla Sacramento POR 1998 3:57.71
Galina Zakharova RUS 1984 3:57.72 Russian system
Natalya Yevkodimova RUS 2005 3:57.73 Russian system
Kelly Holmes GBR 2004 3:57.90
Tatyana Dorovsikh UKR/RUS 1992 3:57.92 Tested positive for
PEDs in 1993