**Kenya's Faith Kipyegon conquered gold in the 1.500 m for the third time at the Budapest World Championships, where Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi put on a show on Tuesday evening.**The world's best runner at the moment, Kipyegon is on cloud nine in 2023, and continues to add to her impressive list of honours.
"I was chasing history today, and I succeeded," she enthused, the only runner with three world titles over the distance.
After gold at the 2017 and 2022 World Championships, silver in 2015 and 2019, and two Olympic titles in 2016 and 2021, the Kenyan has further enriched her collection. An obvious choice, after this year's world records for the 1,500 m (3:49.11 in Florence on June 2), the 5,000 m (14:05.20 in Paris on June 9) and the mile (approx. 1,616 m, 4:07.64 in Monaco on July 21).
Without seeming to exert herself, she set a steady pace then gradually accelerated, with no one able to keep up with her on the final lap, to cross the line in 3 min 54 sec 87, well ahead of her Ethiopian runner-up Diribe Welteji, who at 21 confirmed her great talent with a first international podium.
- Rediscover my speed" -
Kipyegon, a native of Chebaraa in central Kenya, was able to put her career on hold to give birth to her daughter Alyn in June 2018, then return to the top.
"I know what women go through after maternity leave. They think it's the end of their lives. I want to prove them wrong," she told AFP in June at her training camp in Kaptagat, where she runs with marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge.
There was no duel with her Dutch rival Sifan Hassan, who stayed at the back of the pack for most of the race, but still managed to fight it out for bronze. A nice consolation prize after the cruel end of the 10,000 m on Saturday, when she fell just a few metres from the finish line, while battling for the title.
"Only a few weeks ago, I was still on my marathon (victory in London in April on her first attempt) and I was having trouble finding my speed again. My coach and I talked about not doing the 1,500m. I never imagined I'd win a medal there", said Hassan.
The two champions will meet again in the 5,000 m, where Kipyegon will be the overwhelming favourite. The heats, originally scheduled for late morning on Wednesday, were moved to early evening by World Athletics in view of the sweltering weather conditions in the Hungarian capital (around 35 degrees).