Kipyegon defends 1500m gold, ending Hassan's triple attempt

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon celebrates with her national flag after winning the gold medal in the women's 1500m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 6, 2021. (Photo by DYLAN MARTINEZ / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DYLAN MARTINEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) (Pool/Afp Via Getty Images)

Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan's bid to complete an unprecedented triple across middle and long distances came to an end Friday in Tokyo as Faith Kipyegon of Kenya blew by the reigning world champion with about a half-lap remaining to defend her Olympic 1500m crown in a Games-record 3:53.11.

Great Britain's Laura Muir trailed Kipyegon's kick to also edge Hassan, breaking her own national record by nearly a second in 3:54.50. Hassan finished with bronze.

Kipyegon's record clocking broke Romanian Paula Ivan's 3:53.96 from the 1988 Seoul Games.

Hassan had set out to win gold in the 5000m, 1500m and 10,000m. She checked-off the 5000m Monday by defeating Kipyegon's compatriot Hellen Obiri – the only reigning world champion of the three events not her – in 14:36.79, just 12 hours after falling in the 1500m prelims and roaring back for the victory.

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Kipyegon topped both the first round and semifinals in respective 4:01.40 and 3:56.80 times.

Hassan beat Kipyegon by more than two seconds to win her 2019 world title. But in July at the 2021 Monaco Diamond League meet, Kipyegon returned the favor by defeating Hassan by two and a half seconds in a national-record 3:51.07, becoming the fourth-fastest of all time at the distance.

Hassan is entered to run the 10,000m next, less than 24 hours after Friday's 1500m final.

American Elle Purrier St. Pierre was 10th in 4:01.75, followed by teammate Corey McGee in 12th.