Budapest — In what will perhaps go down in the folklore as her most incredible World Athletics Championships, indefatigable Faith Kipyegon attested that her relative inexperience in long-distance running was no hindrance to her insatiable medal hunger.
Already with three world records this season, the 29-year-old Kenyan, racked up the 5000m gold, incidentally four days after being the first woman to earn a third 1500m gold at the Worlds.
Kipyegon dedicated her 1500m gold to her coach and the 5000m gold to her hubby, but candidly admitted that her middle -distance feat was special.
“I dedicate this gold medal to my husband, he has been supportive towards this success and being an amazing husband,” Faith said.
As if not enough to quench her medal ‘thirst for medals’, the Global Sports Communication Training Camp star became the first woman to win both 1500m and 5000m events at a single World Athletics Championships.
In Saturday’s pulsating 5000m final, Kipyegon outkicked Dutch’s Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan to clock 14:53.88, 23 hundredths ahead of silver medalist Hassan.
But asked about her overwhelming social media impressions following her momentous double mission in Budapest, Kipyegon told Capital FM Sport that both her fans and track adversaries must now to learn to live with it.
“They have to live with it. They have to live in Faith’s world because the best is yet to come. It is really amazing when all talk about you from time to time, and wish you well. I took it positively especially when I was back home after the two world records and I was welcomed by the State. I took it as motivation and I have had to push my limits higher.”
Still in her podium dash with Sifan, Kipyegon reckons that the last 100 meters happened in scintillating sprint fashion; as she had to use every trick in the book to stay in front.
“I’m chuffed. I thank God for the double. I didn’t expect to win the 5000m final. But then again, I had practiced really hard knowing that I am going to make history. It was a good race with Sifan, but I knew I had the kick.”
“All through the race I had compatriots Beatrice Chebet, Margaret Chelimo and Lilian Kasait in mind. And I knew we were capable of a clean sweep, unfortunately we got gold and bronze for me and Chebet.”
Faith is nevertheless undecided on which races she will run at the Olympics, and see what next year brings. “For now, I just need to celebrate the history, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
“This has been an incredible year and I think I have closed the season in style, but I still have the Diamond League to come so I’m hoping for the best and just close my season in a beautiful way.
Responding to her chances of being named the World Athlete of the Year, Kiyegon went on: “If I am nominated, well and good. It will be an amazing thing. For me I know I have made history but let’s see how it goes.”