World Championships Women’s 1500m preview: defending titlist Kipyegon faces formidable field
American Doha quartet includes 2011 world champion Simpson, Houlihan, Hiltz & Johnson
By Steve Landells for the IAAF
With major question marks against all the chief contenders, predicting the outcome of the women’s 1500m with any great level of confidence is a tricky business.
The world #1 Sifan Hassan has demonstrated her middle-distance supremacy in 2019 by recording the world’s fastest time (3:55.30) in Monaco en route to the Mile world record (4:12.33) as well as claiming an emphatic 1500m victory at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich.
But it is not yet known whether the US-based Dutchwoman, who is also entered for the 5000m and 10,000m, will compete in the 1500m. She will only make a call on which of the shorter events to contest after her 10,000m final, but the current indications are that she will opt for the 5000m over the 1500m.
If Hassan does not line up for the 1500m, the event becomes more open, even more so after Genzebe Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, was a late withdrawal due to plantar fasciitis.
Faith Kipyegon could step up to retain her title after taking a year out of the sport in 2018 to give birth to daughter Alyn. The Kenyan, who is also the reigning Olympic champion, made a triumphant return to the track with victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stanford in June but picked up an adductor injury. Her only other competitive race this year came at the Kenyan Trials earlier this month, where the ever-smiling Kenyan claimed an important victory.
Great Britain’s European champion Laura Muir was in cracking form over the first half of the season, highlighted by a 3:56.73 performance for second place in Rome. However, a calf injury put the brakes on the preparation and it is not yet known how that has compromised her shape and fitness.
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World Championships Doha 2019 schedule HERE.