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Kipyegon wins frenetic 1,500m race, Semenya sprints to bronze

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won the women's 1,500 final at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, with Caster Semenya digging deep to secure third place.

Caster Semenya after winning the women's 800m event at Rome's Diamond League competition at the Olympic Stadium on 2 June 2016. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won gold medal in the women's 1500 metre at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, winning a thrilling race ahead of America's Jennifer Simpson and South Africa's Caster Semenya.

Semenya, the women's 800m Olympic champion, was touted as one of the favourites going into 1,500m final. While the longer race is not her preferred distance, Semenya was eyeing Zola Budd's 1,500m South African record (4:01.81), which has stood since 1984.

She qualified for Monday night's final by finishing third in her semifinal on Saturday evening.

Semenya's best time over the longer distance is 4:01.99.

The race was characterised by a tactical struggle, with the finalists sticking close to each other until the last lap. Kipyegon - the Olympic champion over 1,500 metres - and Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands broke away from the pack before Simpson, Semenya and Britain's Laura Muir decided to push the duo hard with around 150 metres to go.

Simpson and Semenya kicked hard, hauling in both Hassan and Muir. But they could do nothing more to catch Kipyegon who crossed the line in a time of 4:02.59.

Simpson bagged silver in a time of 4:02.76, while Semenya finished in 4:02.90.

The South African will now turn her attention to her favoured 800m, with heats starting on Thursday before Saturday's final.

Semenya set a world-leading time of 1:55.27 last month in Monaco at the Diamond League meeting, which is also her personal best.