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Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon may be chasing the 40-year-old 800-metre world record should the opportunity present itself.
Kipyegon has a personal best of 1:57.68, which she set at the Doha Diamond League meet in 2020. The last time she raced the 800 was in 2022 during the Commonwealth Games and World Championships qualification trials. She finished in the time of 1:58.18 at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi.
“I don’t know. The 800m is not easy, but anything is possible. For now, I will leave that one for Mary Moraa. She is capable or Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson.
They are all capable of breaking that barrier in the 800m. But if a chance comes whereby I am able to try, I’ll appreciate it,” Kipyegon told Olympics.com.
The world record was set in Munich, Germany in 1983 by Czechoslovakian Jarmila Kratochvílová at 1:53.28.
South African Caster Semenya ran 1:54.25 in 2018. She has a condition called Differences in Sexual Development or DSD and produces testosterone at a rate much higher than the average female. She has since been ordered to take testosterone-limiting medication. It was 10 years earlier since anyone else came close. A 1:54.01 performance by Pamela Jelimo of Kenya in Zürich in 2008 — that’s it. Otherwise, no one has threatened the record.
However, Kipyegon’s mile best is considered at the exact same performance level as the 800m record at 1286 points with her 4:07.64 performance. The 29-year-old’s 1500m best is even better at 3:49.11 and 1295 points. Both are world records and both were set this year during the Diamond League.
Kipyegon is expected to win gold during the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships happening later this month.
Kipyegon will be doubling in Budapest. She will also race the 5000m event, which she holds the world record in at 14:05.20, also set this year during the Diamond League.