Rio 2016: Faith Kipyegon shocks Genzebe Dibaba for Olympic 1500m gold – AthleticsAfrica
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Rio 2016: Faith Kipyegon shocks Genzebe Dibaba for Olympic 1500m gold

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon won the Olympic women’s 1500m gold leaving Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba trailing in her wake on Tuesday night.

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won the women’s Olympic 1500 m gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba / Photo credit: Getty Images
Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won the women’s Olympic 1500 m gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba - Day 5 - Rio 2016 / Photo credit: Getty Images

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon won the Olympic women’s 1500m gold fter unleashing a devastating second half of the race to leave Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba trailing in her wake on Tuesday night.

Faith Kipyegon, fastest in the world this year, sat in the pack as the runners virtually jogged the opening stages before she and Dibaba took off and pulled clear after a 56.8-second lap around the halfway mark scattered the field.

Genzebe Dibaba, who has struggled with injury this year, led with 200m to go but the 22-year-old Kipyegon forced her way past her. She crossed the line in 4:08.92 after covering the last lap in 58.79 to reverse the order from last year’s world championship final.

“It was an amazing race,” Kipyegon said after the race. “I needed to focus during the middle section because I knew Genzebe was so fast and I really had to kick on the last lap.

“I knew Dibaba was going to sprint ahead in the last 800m but I’d prepared well and was confident I would go with her.”

“I was flexible and ready for any pace. I could tell the first lap was slow so I knew there was no challenge but I didn’t think I would win. I’m so happy and thankful to have won my first Olympic medal, and it’s gold,” she added.

Faith Kipyegon won the women’s Olympic 1500 m gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba on day 5 of athletics at Rio 2016 / Photo credit: Getty Images

Faith Kipyegon won the women’s Olympic 1500 m gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba / Photo credit: Getty Images

Dibaba was more than a second behind, taking silver in 4:10.27 and earning Ethiopia‘s first ever Olympic medal in the women’s 1500m.

American former world champion Jenny Simpson took the bronze medal in 4:10.53 from compatriot Shannon Rowbury who was fourth in 4:11.05. Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum finished in eight position in 4:13.14.

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Yomog Meje is a former Nigerian junior athlete and the Associate editor at Athletics Africa.

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