Faith Chengetich Kipyegon overcame strong competition from the world record holder Genzebe Dibaba to win a gold medal for Kenya in the final of the 1,500m. The diminutive Kenyan was overjoyed and collapsed in tears after crossing the line in 4:08.93, the first Olympic medal for the 22 year old from Bomet County, Kenya.
The race was a relatively slow one, and it was clear in first half of the race that Dibaba’s World Record time was in no danger. Both Kipyegon and Dibaba stayed in touch with the leading pack. With 600m to go, however, the pace increased considerably. At the bell, Kipyegon and Dibaba took off, with Dibaba leading, and Americans Jennifer SImpson and Shannon Rowbury close behind them.
Kipyegon overtook Dibaba with 300m to go, and although the pace by the two athletes was very fast, it was clear that the Ethiopian would not keep up with the Kenyan, the latter stretching her lead in the final stretch to cross the line in victory.
This is Kenya’s third Gold medal for Kenya, and the second in the last 24 hours, after 800m ace David Rudisha won gold last night.
American Jeniffer Simpson finished third in 4:10.53, finishing less than a second slower than Dibaba, who clocked 4:10.27.
Congratulations, Faith Kipyegon.