Faith Kipyegon Becomes First Woman to Break 3:50 Barrier in Women's 1500m
Faith Kipyegon Becomes First Woman to Break 3:50 Barrier in Women's 1500m

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon achieved her long-desired world record in the women’s 1500m event, clocking a remarkable time of 3:49.11 at the Golden Gala, the third Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season held in Florence on Friday (2).

Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic and two-time world champion, was already the second-fastest women’s 1500m runner of all time, having recorded 3:50.37 in Monaco last August, narrowly missing out on the world record of 3:50.07 set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 by a mere 0.3 seconds.

This time, Kipyegon shattered the previous record, becoming the first woman to break the 3:50 barrier in the discipline, cutting nearly a second off the previous mark.

Throughout 2023, Kipyegon had openly expressed her ambition to achieve the world record. “The record is in my heart and on my mind, and I hope this will be a perfect year for me,” she stated on the eve of the Golden Gala.

And she indeed started the year in sensational fashion.

During Friday’s race, Kipyegon closely followed pacemakers Brooke Feldmeier and Sage Hurta-Klecker, passing the 400m mark in 1:02.37. Hurta-Klecker maintained the pace, reaching 800m in 2:04.00, with Kipyegon right on her shoulder.

As Hurta-Klecker moved aside, Kipyegon surged forward, reaching 1200m in 3:05.28. Running in a league of her own, she made another powerful push and triumphantly crossed the finish line, the clock displaying an extraordinary time of 3:49.11. Overwhelmed with joy, she raised her hands to her face and then dropped to the track in celebration.

Behind her, Laura Muir of Britain secured second place with a time of 3:57.09, while Australia’s Jessica Hull claimed third place in an area record time of 3:57.29. The competitors joined together after the race to celebrate Kipyegon’s phenomenal achievement.

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Ato Stephens, a former sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago, excelled in the 400 meters. He secured a bronze medal at the 2003 CAC Championships and a silver at the 2005 edition. He also won the NCAA 400m indoor title in 1999. Ato Stephens represented his country at the Summer Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008 and competed in the World Championships in 2001, 2005, and 2007. Impressive achievements include a third-place finish in the semifinals at the 2007 World Championships and fourth place in the semifinals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Stephens continues to inspire with his notable performances on the track.


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