Mile News

Hailu wins World Indoor 1500m

March 03, 2024

Americans Hiltz, Mackay claim silver, bronze medals in final event

By Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics

Ethiopia waited until the closing stages of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 to win their first gold medal of the weekend. But then, like waiting for a bus, two came along at once.

Hot on the heels of Tsige Duguma’s surprise win in the women’s 800m, Freweyni Hailu produced a more expected victory in the women’s 1500m, the closing event of the championships on Sunday evening.

It was something of an unusual race, though, with the pace and lead changing hands several times.

Hailu, 23, darted into an early lead, closely followed by her compatriot, World road Mile champion Diribe Welteji. Birke Haylom soon made it an Ethiopian trio out in front, and they had a lead of about six metres on the chase pack.

The pace settled after three laps and the pack began to bunch up. Hailu spent a brief moment in the middle of the pack while Welteji led the pack through 800m.

One lap later, USA’s Nikki Hiltz had moved up into second place. Emily Mackay, Hiltz’s teammate, then darted into the lead with two laps to go, bidding to make a long run for home.

At this point, there were two U,S, runners, two Ethiopian athletes and two British runners – Georgia Bell and Revee Walcott-Nolan – in contention for the medals.

Mackay held on to the lead until the final bend, when Hailu and Hiltz eventually charged past. Hailu kicked ahead to win in 4:01.46 with Hiltz taking silver in an indoor PR of 4:02.32 and Mackay earning a surprise bronze in 4:02.69, also an indoor PR.

Bell, who recently returned to the sport after focusing on duathlon for several years, crossed the line in fourth in 4:03.47, 0.35 ahead of Welteji.

“This result is very good for me,” said Hailu, who took World Indoor silver over 800m two years ago. “The key to this result is that we help each other in our team and in our training group. The harder we work, the better we get on the track. For summer, we’ll train even harder, because the main focus is the Olympics.”

Complete results HERE.

CREDIT: Getty Images

Tags: world indoor championships (9) , nikki hiltz (47) , freweyni hailu (2) , emily mackay (4)

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