Kipyegon moves closer to defending title after winning her 1,500m semi-final race
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon moved closer to defending her title after cruising in the women 1,500m semifinals race yesterday at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.
Her time of 3:56.80 was the fastest from the two semi-finals putting her in a strong position to make history as the first woman to defend the title in the event. She will be up against World champion Sifan Hassan winner of semi-final two.
It was, however, a bad day for Kenya’s others entries, Winnie Chebet, who stumbled, something that has become synonymous with the Tokyo Games.
Having finished last in 4:11.62, she will be hoping to be re-instated into the final by the organisers after team Kenya launched an appeal.
Edinah Jebitok finished last in the second semifinal to miss out on the final.
In the first semi, Ethiopia’s Freweyni Gebreezibeher (3:57.54) was second with Canada’s Gabriella Debues-Stafford (3:58.28) placing third.
Australia’s Jessica Hull and Japan’s Nozomi clocked lifetime bests of 3:58.81 and 3:59.19 respectively to seal the automatic five qualification slots.
Meanwhile, former world javelin champion and Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego blamed a niggling biceps injury after failing to make the final of the Tokyo Olympics earlier on Wednesday morning.
His third throw of 77.34m was not enough to hit the automatic mark of 83.50m.
Yego had failed to register a legal throw in his first two attempts at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
The result locked him out of the finals where he had hoped to improve on his silver medal from the Rio Olympics.
“I’m happy I competed at all today because I have a biceps injury, which has really been disturbing me and yesterday I didn’t know I would compete at all,” said Yego, the 2015 world champion.
Yego, who has had a troubled season plagued by injuries, withdrew as Team Kenya’s overall captain just before the Tokyo Games, citing frustrations from the officials after they failed to let him train under his coach at the team’s Kasarani bubble.
“It’s unfortunate I didn’t have a coach to correct me and that’s why the first two throws went off! You could see the other competitors were being corrected by their coaches,” Yego was quoted by a local daily.