In her final tune-up for the season, Faith Kipyegon claimed bronze in the women’s mile event at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga on October 1, losing out to Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji and Freweyni Hailu by a whisker in the final moments of the race.

Welteji won the race in 4:20.98, breaking Nikki Hiltz’s April record of 4:27.97 in Des Moines and setting a new world mile record in Riga.

Hailu finished second in 4:23.06, while Kipyegon finished third in 4:24.13.

Kipyegon lags behind Ethiopian runners

Using her “go out to the front” and “get faster” strategy, the Kenyan runner got off to a great start in the race, leading the pack.

However, Ethiopia’s Welteji rose up to the challenge, picked up her pace, and, in no time, strode along Kipyegon in the road race. The two left behind their competitors, with only Hailu trailing closely behind in the final moments of the race. Kipyegon attempted to overtake Welteji at one point, but Welteji proved to be a formidable foe as she kept up with her and picked up the pace once they crossed the central landmark, edging out Kipyegon and finally breaking the tape at the finish line.

And Hailu, who was still following closely, caught up to Kipyegon in the final meters of the race and passed her to win the silver medal in the competition.

Kipyegon closes off her doors in ‘23

Despite her third place finish, Kipyegon was still glad that she had accomplished her first road race.

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“It feels good to be part of these first World Road Running Championships, so I am glad I did it. This was my first road race, so I did well,”, Kipyegon said to World Athletics.

Finally, a few hours after the competition ended, Kipyegon bid her fans farewell as she closed her doors in 2023, finishing her season with a slew of awards to her name. Kipyegon dedicated two posts to her fans on her X, thanking everyone who supported her this year.

“After an incredible year with 3 World Records and 2 World titles on the track, I’m proud to finish the season with another World Championships medal in my first road race ever.

2023, you were amazing, and now… holiday and family time 🇰🇪

See you all in 2024.🙏”

“To all my fans, thanks a lot for your overwhelming support and sentiments of encouragement. I am really humbled🙏

Every race presents a learning curve, this first road race has offered me an opportunity to calibrate and fine tune for the next season. 🇰🇪♥️”

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The photo above is from Twitter

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