Track & Field

Jenny Simpson claims silver in dramatic Women’s 1500

Jenny Simpson claims silver in dramatic Women’s 1500

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 08: (L-R) Jennifer Simpson of the United States, silver, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon of Kenya, gold, and Caster Semenya of South Africa, bronze, pose with their medals for the Women’s 1500 metres during day five of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 8, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

 

8/7/2017

LONDON — With another astounding stretch run, Jenny Simpson earned her fourth global medal in the women’s 1,500 meters Monday night at Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Going from fourth to second by zipping down the inside rail in the final meters, the 2011 world champion, 2013 silver medalist and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist claimed the silver medal at the IAAF World Championships, further establishing her as one of the most brilliant and consistent championship runners of her era.

Fearless stretch run gives Simpson silver

Simpson (Oviedo, Florida) closed her eyes calmly before being called to the line. When the gun went off, an action-packed race began. Home-crowd favorite Laura Muir of Great Britain went straight to the lead, with Simpson on her shoulder to bring the pack through 400m in 1:05.35. The pace then slowed by nearly seven seconds as the field bunched up. Olympic gold medalist Faith Kipyegon moved into position off of Muir’s shoulder as Simpson ran in fourth and fifth place, going through 800m in 2:17.29.

World Indoor 3,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands surged to the lead with 600m to go, and Simpson followed. At the bell it was Hassan, Kipyegon and Muir, with Simpson on the rail in fourth. Hassan and Kipyegon sprinted, shoulder to shoulder, down the backstretch and built up a lead of several meters, but Muir put in a huge surge with 200 to go, and the race was on.

Down the stretch, Hassan began to tire as the quartet sprinted, with Olympic 800m gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa giving chase. Running in fourth, Simpson boldly took the rail to pass Muir on the inside, then chased down Hassan and nearly caught Kipyegon, who won in 4:02.59. Simpson was second in 4:02.76, followed by Semenya in 4:02.90 and Muir fourth in 4:02.97.

As Simpson half-ran and half-danced around the curve, celebrating her finish with pumping fists and high knees, the in-stadium announcer understatedly observed, “Jenny Simpson always seems to get it right tactically.”

usatf.org

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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