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World Championships: Faith Kipyegon wins 1500m gold, Laura Muir fourth


Britain’s Laura Muir just missed out on a 1500m medal as Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon won a showdown every bit as tight and dramatic as billed.

In the contest of the championships so far, Muir led through the first lap before slipping back as the pace dropped.

With 30m to go, the 24-year-old Scot had battled back into contention only to be overtaken by American Jenny Simpson and South Africa’s Caster Semenya in the final strides.

“I gave it everything I could,” said Muir, who missed out on bronze by seven hundredths of a second.

“I tied up in the last 15 yards. I knew it was close. It happened so late in the race. I couldn’t react, but I wouldn’t have been able to because I was so tired.”
With Ethiopian defending champion Genzebe Dibaba nowhere and the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, fastest woman in the world this year, tying up at the death, it was a frenzied end to a race as messy as it was thrilling.

Muir’s fellow Briton, Laura Weightman, crossed the line in sixth place.

Minutes earlier, Olympic champion Omar McLeod had given Jamaica its first gold medal of these championships as he powered to 110m hurdles gold.

But it was the 1500m that had the capacity crowd on its feet, and while Muir’s effort was brave, there will be debate about whether her tactics were the right ones for the occasion.

After a first lap of 65 seconds she slowed it down to 71secs on the next, with Hassan and Simpson coming past her as she ceded control.

At that stage Olympic 800m champion Semenya was way back, but the South African used her speed in the home straight as USA’s Simpson once again timed her own effort to perfection as Dibaba went backwards.

McLeod, 23, a sub-10 second runner over 100m flat, had held off Sergey Shubenkov by a tenth of a second in 13.04secs, with Hungary’s Balazs Baji in bronze.

Shubenkov is competing here as a neutral athlete, one of 18 Russians cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations’ doping review board following the World Anti-Doping Agency report into their nation’s state-sponsored doping programme.

But there was no fairytale return to this stadium for American 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt, who had a kidney transplant operation two years ago.

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