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As expected, Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson won her first race in her bid for world championship gold in Budapest on Tuesday. She was competing in Heat #1.
The Olympic and world 800-metre silver medallist won in the time of one minute and 59.53 seconds — a strain-free pace for the British record holder. She is also the defending European champion.
“I am in really good shape and ready for any type of race,” said Hodgkinson.
The 21-year-old appeared quite comfortable in advance of the semi-finals going Friday. Finishing in second place was South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso in 1:59.72 and third was Finland’s Eveliina Määttänen in 2:00.41
In Heat #2 it was one of the other favourites Kenyan Mary Moraa going through in the time of 1:59.89, while Benin’s Noélie Yarigo took Heat #3 in 1:59.96. Heat #4 was Ugandan Halimah Nakaayi in 1:59.68. In Heat #5 it was American Nia Akins in 1:59.19, while Hodgkinson’s teammate Jemma Reekie took second cruising in for a 1:59.71. Ethiopian Habitam Alemu clocked yet another 1:59, going .36 over to win Heat #6.
All eyes were on American Athing Mu who also enjoyed a relatively civilised opening heat clocking just 1:59.59. There was pre-meet discussion in the running community about Mu and whether or not she was going to show up. Her coach Bobbie Kersee was suggesting that she would focus on the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. It was a confusing statement as her performance in Budapest has nothing to do with her racing one year later.
In the seven heats, there were winners from six different countries: Great Britain, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Benin, and two from the US. Every winner clocked a 1:59, running only as fast as they needed to for automatic qualification.
Canada’s Jazz Shukla clocked a new personal best to automatically qualify in the time of 2:00.30 to qualify on time. Oratile Nowe of Botswana set a new national record but did not move on recording a 2:01.62. Interestingly Tigist Girma from Ethiopia competed in the 800m event. If it is the same 21-year-old Tigist Girma as the marathon runner, with a 2:18:52 from Valencia just eight months ago in Valencia, she acquitted herself well but did not advance. She ran 2:01.47 in Heat #4.
Faith Kipyegon has once again demonstrated that she is one of the all-time great middle-distance runners. The Kenyan, who took three world records already this season in the 1500m (3:49.11), mile (1609m, 4:07.64), and 5000m (14:05.20) events won gold in Budapest. It is her fifth world championships medal, and third consecutive gold. The 29-year-old also owns two Olympic gold medals.
At the gun, it was clear that Kipyegon was accepting nothing by a win. She took control of the pace maneuvering through the field. She waited for the perfect moment make her move.
With 200m to go, Kipyegon unleashed a kick that left her competitors decimated. With the finish line in sight, she kicked harder, stopping the clock at 3:54.87.
With the win, she became the first woman to secure three world 1500m titles.
Amazingly, Sifan Hassan only finished in bronze medal position with a 3:56.00 clocking. She fell during the 10,000m event with victory in her hand. The Dutch athlete came to the meet seeking three gold medals in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.
Ethiopian Diribe Welteji gave all that she could over the final 100m to hang on to silver.
Women’s 1500m Final – Tuesday, August 22
|4||Ciara MAGEEAN||IRL||3:56.61 NR|
|5||Nelly CHEPCHIRCHIR||KEN||3:57.90 PB|
|10||Cory Ann MCGEE||USA||4:01.60|
|11||Ludovica CAVALLI||ITA||4:01.84 PB|
|1||Keely HODGKINSON||GBR||1:59.53 Q|
|2||Prudence SEKGODISO||RSA||1:59.72 Q|
|3||Eveliina MÄÄTTÄNEN||FIN||2:00.41 Q|
|4||Vivian Chebet KIPROTICH||KEN||2:01.26|
|8||Perina Lokure NAKANG||ART||2:15.84|
|1||Mary MORAA||KEN||1:59.89 Q|
|2||Raevyn ROGERS||USA||2:00.06 Q|
|3||Worknesh MESELE||ETH||2:00.13 Q|
|4||Jazz SHUKLA||CAN||2:00.30 qPB|
|5||Eloisa COIRO||ITA||2:00.36 q|
Heat 3 wind -0.4
|1||Noélie YARIGO||BEN||1:59.96 Q|
|2||Christina HERING||GER||2:00.06 Q SB|
|3||Abbey CALDWELL||AUS||2:00.29 Q|
|1||Halimah NAKAAYI||UGA||1:59.68 Q|
|2||Adelle TRACEY||JAM||1:59.82 Q SB|
|3||Rénelle LAMOTE||FRA||2:00.22 Q|
|4||Claudia Mihaela BOBOCEA||ROU||2:00.54 PB|
|7||Oratile NOWE||BOT||2:01.62 NR|
|1||Nia AKINS||USA||1:59.19 Q|
|2||Jemma REEKIE||GBR||1:59.71 Q|
|3||Anita HORVAT||SLO||2:00.06 Q|
|4||Bianka KÉRI||HUN||2:00.20 q|
|1||Habitam ALEMU||ETH||1:59.36 Q|
|2||Catriona BISSET||AUS||1:59.46 Q|
|3||Flavia Maria DE LIMA||BRA||2:00.92 Q SB|
|4||Hedda HYNNE||NOR||2:01.00 SB|
|6||Rose Mary ALMANZA||CUB||2:01.33|
|1||Athing MU||USA||1:59.59 Q|
|2||Natoya GOULE-TOPPIN||JAM||1:59.64 Q|
|3||Lore HOFFMANN||SUI||2:00.14 QSB|
|5||Assia RAZIKI||MAR||2:00.91 PB|