Kipyegon all set for world final, Kenyan trio charge through to 800m semis

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 06, 2017
  • Kenya's Faith Kipyegon in the 1500m semi finals at the World championships. (Getty Images for IAAF)

Kenya's Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon took one step closer to upgrading her world silver medal from 2015 to gold after winning the first semi-final in 4:03.54 at the World championships in London on Saturday.

Just as she had done in the heat, Great Britain's Jessica Judd led the field through 400m in 65.11 and through 800m in 2:11.84. Dibaba was well-positioned on the young Briton's shoulder, with South Africa's Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya and Great Britain's British record-holder Laura Muir running comfortably mid-pack.

As they approached the bell in 3:01.33, Muir came wide to position herself on Kipyegon's shoulder alongside Dibaba.

With 200m to go, 2009 world 800m champion Semenya – something of a dark horse over 1500m – showed some of her 1:55.27 two-lap speed as she moved up to join the leaders.

As the leaders approached the homestraight, it was clear that Dibaba was treading water. Meanwhile Kipyegon, Muir (4:03.64) and Semenya (4:03.80) finished full of running, showing that they could all be forces to be reckoned with in the final on Monday evening.

Just like the Olympic final Kipyegon will be the sole contender for a medal for Kenya as the 2006 world U20 and 2005 world U18 silver medallist Winny Chebet could only manage 7th behind in her semis won by Sifa Hassan of the Netherlands in 4:03.77.

Kenyans through to semis

Reigning world and Olympic champion David Rudisha was a late withdrawal from the IAAF World Championships London 2017 due to a quad muscle strain but the Kenyan triumvirate on show were all comfortable heat winners.

His winning time was the second slowest of the day but Emmanuel Korir looked mightily impressive, sauntering through the fourth heat in 1:47.08.

The 22-year-old hasn’t lost an individual race at any distance this year - heats included - and he will be looking to emulate his coach Paul Ereng - the 1988 Olympic 800m champion - by claiming a major title on his senior championship debut Kipyegon Bett might not be the stylist of Rudisha but the 19-year-old is another highly vaunted prospect tipped to challenge for senior honours.

The reigning world U20 champion opened proceedings by winning the first heat in 1:45.77 ahead of Sweden’s Andreas Kramer (1:45.98) and the much improved American Drew Windle, who moved from a distant sixth at the top of the home straight to finish third in 1:46.08.

The most experienced of the Kenyan contingent with Rudisha sidelined, world and Olympic finalist Ferguson Rotich was equally untroubled in the third heat, winning in 1:45.77.