Sports

Faith Kipyegon: The Middle Distance Queen From Kenya

Faith Kipyegon 1

Faith Kipyegon is the best female distance runner today and one of the greatest athletes of all time. Faith Kipyegon had a tough childhood and she used to walk to school every day. From those difficult days, Faith Kipyegon has gone on to become a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a three time World Champion. In this post, we will find out more about Faith Kipyegon. Let’s get started.

Faith Kipyegon: All You Need To Know

Who is Faith Kipyegon?

Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon was born on January 10, 1994, in Bomet in the Rift Valley, Kenya. She specializes in long-distance and middle-distance running. She is double Olympic champion in the 1,500 meters, in 2016 in Rio and in 2021 in Tokyo, and triple world champion in this distance, in 2017 in London, in 2022 in Eugene, and in 2023 in Budapest.

In 2023, she set three world records: that in the 1,500 metres at the Golden Gala meeting, in Florence, the 5,000 metres a week later, during the Paris Meeting, and of the mile at the Monaco Herculis Meeting.

How did Faith Kipyegon become a champion runner?

Faith Kipyegon participated at the age of sixteen in the 2010 World Cross Country Championships, in Bydgoszcz, and won the gold medal in the junior team event after finishing at the foot of the podium in the individual race. In the following edition, in Punta Umbría, she became the junior world champion, beating three Ethiopian competitors. On the track, the Kenyan won the title of the 1,500 meters of the Cadet World Championships taking place at the Stadium Lille Metropole in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.

She confirmed her potential in 2012 by winning the Junior World Championships in Barcelona, ​​beating Serbian Amela Terzić and Ethiopian Senbere Teferi. Selected for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Kenyan couldn’t fight for a Gold Medal.

At the start of the 2013 season, Faith Kipyegon won the individual junior event at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. On 10 May, at the Qatar  Athletic Super Grand Prix in Doha, she set a new Kenyan record for the 1500m, losing nonetheless to Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi. In August 2013, at the Moscow World Championships, Faith Kipyegon placed fifth in the 1500m final.

In 2014, she won the gold medal in the 4 × 1,500 meters relay at the first IAAF World Relays, in Nassau in the Bahamas, along with Mercy Cherono, Irene Jelagat and Hellen Obiri. The Kenyan team finished ahead of the United States and Australia, improving the world record by more than 30 seconds. At the end of July, in Glasgow, Scotland, she won the Commonwealth Games 1,500 m title.

She won the 1500m silver medal at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, overtaken by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba near the end.

Faith Kipyegon: Olympic champion (2016) 

On May 14, 2016, during the Shanghai meeting, Faith Kipyegon set her own Kenyan record for the 1,500 metres. Among the favorites for the Olympic title, Faith Kipyegon was crowned Olympic champion in August 2016 during the Rio Olympics where she won the final comfortably.

Faith Kipyegon: World Champion (2017) 

The following year, she won the world title at the world championships in London, in a very tight sprint with the Dutch Sifan Hassan. She finally beat on the podium the American Jennifer Simpson and the South African Caster Semenya.

On August 14, 2020, she won the 1,000 metres race at the Monaco meeting, setting the second best time in history behind Svetlana Masterkova.

Faith Kipyegon: Second Olympic title (2021) 

Also in Monaco on July 9, 2021, the Kenyan set the fourth best time in history over 1,500m, ahead of her main opponent Sifan Hassan. The two women met again for the final of the Tokyo Olympics less than a month later, and once again Kipyegon got the better of the Dutchwoman by winning in a little over 3 minutes, 53 seconds, a new Olympic record. She thus retained her title acquired in 2016 and became the second woman to win two Olympic gold medals in this distance after the Soviet Tatyana Kazankina in 1976 and 1980.

Faith Kipyegon: Second world title (2022) 

On July 18, 2022, at the world championships in Eugene, Faith Kipyegon won her second world title and became the most successful athlete in this distance with the Algerian Hassiba Boulmerka, Tatyana Tomashova, and Maryam Yusuf Jamal, but has two more silver medals. She won it in a little over 3 minutes and 52 seconds, ahead of Gudaf Tsegay and Laura Muir.

On August 10, 2022, at the Meeting Herculis in Monaco, Faith Kipyegon established the second fastest performance of all time over 1,500 metres with a blistering time of 3:50:37, failing to only 3/10 th of a second from the world record of Genzebe Dibaba.

On June 2, 2023, during the exceptionally contested Golden Gala meeting in Florence, Italy, Faith Kipyegon beat Genzebe Dibaba’s 1,500m world record set in 2015 by almost a second, covering the distance in 3:49:11, becoming the first athlete to break the 3 min 50 s barrier. She is the first Kenyan athlete to hold this record.

A week later, on June 9, 2023, at the Paris Meeting, she beat the world record for the 5,000 meters in 14:05:20, lowering by almost a second and a half the former best world record of the Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey established in 2020

When did Faith Kipyegon break the world record for the mile?

On July 21, 2023, at the Meeting Herculis in Monaco, Faith Kipyegon broke a third world record by improving Sifan Hassan’s world record for the mile from 2019 by almost 5 seconds, completing the distance in 4:07:64.

Who is Faith Kipyegon married to?

Faith Kipyegon is married to Timothy Kitum, bronze medalist in the 800m at the 2012 Olympics, on February  1, 2018.

Does Faith Kipyegon have children?

After announcing her pregnancy via social media, Faith Kipyegon, she gave birth to a daughter, named Alyn on June 21, 2018.

Faith Kipyegon: Awards

Faith Kipyegon was one of the athletes selected in the final for the BBC’s “African Sports Personality of the Year 2021” award (prize awarded in January 2022). Kipyegon lost out to sprinter Christine Mboma in the end.

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