NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon is on track to defend her world title after breezing through to the women’s 1500m final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Thursday night.
Kipyegon booked an automatic slot after crossing the line fourth in the first semifinal, clocking 4:15.49 in a race won by hot favourite Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands who returned 4:14.69, beating American Shelby Houlihan who qualified from second place in 4:14.91.
Moroccan Rababe Arafi came home third in 4:14.94 to also sail through into the final while Ciara Mageean from the Ireland took the last automatic slot in fifth place in a time of 4:15.49.
In the second heat, another Kenyan Winnie Chebet also advanced in the final after taking an automatic slot following her fifth place finish in 4:01.14.
American Jenny Simpson won the heat in 4:00.99 ahead of Gabriela DeBues-Stafford of Canada who qualified in second place after returning 4:01.04 while Briton Laura Muir, another title contender was third after returning 4:01.05.
Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay advanced through to the final after coming home fourth in 4:01.12 while Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo (4:01.30), Nikki Hiltz of USA ( 4:01.52 PB) Australian Jessica Hull (4:01.80 PB) and Swedish Yolanda Ngarambe (4:03.43 PB), also went through the final after emerging the best fastest losers.
The final is set for Saturday 8:55pm.
-Men 1500m Heats-
In the corresponding men’s 1500m heats, Diamond League winner Timothy Cheruiyot won his first second heat in 3:36.82 to book a slot in the semifinals flooring Josh Kerr of Britain who was second in 3:36.99 while Ben Blankenship of USA also advanced in 3:37.13.
In the third heat, Ronald Kwemoi joined fellow Kenyan Cheruiyot in the semifinal after squeezing through as one of the fastest losers in 3:36.66.
Other Kenyans in the race, George Manangoi, the younger brother of defending champion Elijah and former 2016 World Under 20 champion Kumari Taki bowed out after failing to attain the qualification mark.