Athletics: Confident Kipyegon to run a double in Paris

Kenyan middle-distance superstar Faith Kipyegon will chase two golds at next month's Paris Olympics after she added qualification for her 1500m speciality at trials in Nairobi on Saturday.

AFP , Saturday 15 Jun 2024,

Faith Kipyegon
Kenyan 1500m world record holder Faith Kipyegon points to the time of her race on the stadium clock while celebrating her victory in the 1500m Women Final during the Kenya Athletics 2024 Paris Olympic Trials at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, on June 15, 2024. AFP

 

The 30-year-old mother of one had bagged her ticket for the 5,000m the previous day.

An odds-on favourite for the 1500m, the two-time Olympic champion ran a perfect qualifier to come home in a remarkable time of 3 minutes 53:98 seconds.

"It will be history to win the 1500m for the third time and to focus on the 5,000m," Kipyegon said.

"I know it wouldn't be easy but I am going to try and see what's possible."

Only Kipyegon and Russia's Tatiana Kazankina have successfully defended a women's Olympic 1500m title.

Last summer in Budapest, the Kenyan became the first athlete to achieve a World Championships double at 1500m and 5,000m. It was her third world 1500m title and came in a season in which she set three world records.

She will be joined on the Kenyan team by reigning world 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who made no mistake at Saturday's trials to clock a world leading and personal best time of 1:41:70.

Wanyonyi was reinstated for the final after falling in a collision just 10 metres from the finish line in the semi-final.

The 2018 Commonwealth games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal was a distant second in 1:42:50 but it was enough to book the second slot in an 800m pairing that will be without two-time champion Emmanuel Korir who failed to qualify.

"I run with a swollen foot after yesterday's fall, but I didn't want to make any mistake again and not qualify for Olympics for the first time," Wanyonyi said.

Elsewhere, Africa's 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala ran 9.79secs in his fifth race of the season. It was Omanyala's second fastest time.

"I am happy with my time here today and the progress I am making ahead of the Olympics. It shows me if I train very well in the next few weeks I should expect very good results. I have peaked at the right time," he said.

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