Double Olympic champion Kenya’s Faith Chepng’etich takes on World Indoor champion Gudaf Tsegay from Ethiopia in the women’s 1,500m final on Tuesday 5.50pm (EAT) at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.
Both athletes eased to victories in their respective semi-final heats where Tsegay won the first heat in 4:01.28 with Chepng’etich taking the second in 4:03.98 on Sunday morning.
Chepng’etich will partner with the 2019 World Athletics Continental Cup 1,500m champion, Winny Chebet, who sailed through from the first semi-final among the best losers.
Chepng’etich will be aiming to reclaim her title which she lost to Dutch Sifan Hassan during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.
She has since then only lost to Hassan at the Diamond League meeting in Florence last year.
Chepng’etich, who won the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics titles, goes into the final not only as the fastest with a personal best of 3:51.07, but also the world leader (3:52.59).
Chepng’etich could cement her place in the history books as the greatest runner of all times in women’s 1,500m if she recaptures her title she won in 2017 London.
Victory in Oregon will make it a fourth global outdoor championships gold.
Chepng’etich is the only Kenyan woman to have won the world title in the metric mile race and the only other Kenyan to have won the Olympic title besides Jebet Lagat in 2008 Beijing.
Tsegay, who set a new world indoor record when winning the 1,500m final in 3:57.19 at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in March, hopes for better tidings after she settled for bronze in Doha behind Hassan and Chepng’etich.
Tsegay aims to become the only other Ethiopian to win the world title after world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, who won in 2015 Beijing.
Besides Tsegay, who is second in the world this year, and had fastest time of the semis heats, 21-year-old Hirut Meshesha (3:57.30) and Freweyni Hailu(3:58.18), the 800m silver medallist at the world indoor, are the other Ethiopians to look out for.
Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir from Britain and Australia Jessica Hull are also in strong contention alongside the 2019 World 800m champion Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda.