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Upbeat Kipyegon eyes title defense in Doha

Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon celebrates winning as South Africa’s Caster Semenya grabs third in the final of the 1,500m event, at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on August 7

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon says she feels in the shape of her life ahead of the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha and remains confident she will defend her title.

Kipyegon has just made her return this year from maternity leave and after testing herself in several races, she feels ready to head to Doha and clinch her second consecutive title.

“I really feel good and I feel that my body is in good shape. I have trained well to improve on my technique and finishing kick and things are looking very good,” Kipyegon told Capital Sport.

The 25-year old missed the entire 2018 season as she was out on maternity break and made her return at the Nike sponsored Prefontaine Classic in the USA where she won the 1500m race in a time of 3:59.04.

Faith Kipyegon (right) crosses the finish line ahead of Winny Chebet at the Athletics Kenya trials for the IAAF World Championships on September 13, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

She easily won the Kenya trials for the World Championships two weeks ago clocking 4:03.22 with Winny Chebet who will join her in Kenya’s team in Doha coming in second.

“I didn’t want to push myself too much because it was only two weeks to Doha and I want to retain most of the energy. It was good to compete at home for the first time in almost three years and running at high altitude is always a good way to test yourself,” Kipyegon noted.

With Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba pulling out of Doha due to injury, Kipyegon will now hope Sifan Hassan who won both the 1500m and 5,000m Diamond Trophies will not double for her to earn a clear path to the title.

“I am ready for the competition. I know Sifan is very strong this season and the Americans as well, but we will fight it out on the track. A championship is very different from the Diamond League races and for me, I know how to run championship races,” a confident Kipyegon further stated.

Defending 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will team up with Winny Chebet for the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Photo/Timothy Olobulu

Hassan has the fastest time in the provisional list for the World Championships while Great Britain’s Laura Muir who finished fourth in London is also in the top five.

Kipyegon will begin her title defense next Wednesday when the first round of heats start at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

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