On August 27, 2023, Kenyan runner Faith Kipyegon made history by becoming the first woman ever to win the 1500-5000m double at a World Championship event. This achievement solidified her status as one of the greatest distance runners of all time. After winning her third world 1500m title earlier in the week, Kipyegon delivered another incredible performance in the 5000m race to secure her second gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. She controlled the pace of the race and executed a calm last lap to finish in 14 minutes 53.88 seconds. Dutch runner Sifan Hassan claimed the silver medal with a time of 14:54.11, while another Kenyan, Beatrice Chebet, took home the bronze in 14:54.33.
Following her victory, Kipyegon expressed her joy and gratitude, calling this year an amazing one for her. She had been patiently working towards breaking world records and winning double gold medals, and now her dream had come true. Kipyegon acknowledged her commitment to pushing herself to the limits and spoke confidently about continuing to do so in the future. She believed in herself and attributed her success to her consistency, focus, and determination to make history.
The race itself was a tactical one, with Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay initially taking the lead and splitting the field. Kipyegon and her teammate Lilian Kasait Rengeruk moved to the front of the pack with eight laps remaining, while Hassan stayed three places behind. Tsegay regained the lead with four laps to go, causing Hassan to separate from the trailing runners. As the final 400 meters approached, Kipyegon and Hassan accelerated side by side, closely followed by Chebet and the rest of the field. In the end, Kipyegon kicked into high gear, keeping her eyes fixed on the big screen beyond the finish line and securing a fantastic victory. Hassan, the reigning Olympic champion, also performed well, recovering from a fall in the 10,000m race to win the silver medal in this race and claim bronze in the 1500m.
Both Kipyegon and Hassan noted the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned during the championship in Budapest. Kipyegon emphasized her mental stability and ability to push herself, while Hassan reflected on her confidence and improvement despite focusing on marathon training in recent years. Although Kipyegon acknowledged that Hassan had a strong year and was better than her, she credited her own strength and determination for the win.
Overall, Kipyegon’s historic double victory in the 1500-5000m and the impressive performances of the other runners have made the World Athletics Championships in Budapest a memorable event.