2. Faith Kipyegon

In 2022, Faith Kipyegon cemented her place as one of Africa’s best ever middle distance runners after reclaiming her world title in the women’s 1500m in Oregon, making her a two-time World Champion (2017 and 2022), two-time world Silver medallist (2015 and 2019) and two-time Olympic Champion (2016 and 2021). She also holds the exclusive position of being the first female athlete to win four global titles over the 1500m.

Photo Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The 28-year-old was unbeaten over her specialist distance in 2022, decisively winning all her six races and ending her season with the second fastest time in history. Her first race was at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene where she set a Season’s Best (SB) of 3:52.59 to snatch the victory.

Less than a week later, the two-time World U20 Cross Country Champion dominated the 800m at the FBK Games in Hengelo and then ran her last race over the distance at the Kenyan Trials later that month, finishing 2nd with 1:58.18.

Photo Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics

At the World Championships in Eugene, Kipyegon easily won her heat in 4:04.53, reserving her strength for the semis. She did just enough to win her semifinal race in 4:03.98, setting up a mouthwatering clash with Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay who had clocked faster times in the heats and semis. The Kenyan went all out in the final and edged out her fellow East African rival by nearly two seconds, reclaiming her GOLD medal from 2017 with a time of 3:52.96 as Laura Muir earned Bronze with 3:55.28.

A few weeks later, Kipyegon stormed to the second-fastest performance of all time at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco, a new National Record (NR) of 3:50.37s, and as of August 2022, she held six of the thirteen fastest women’s 1500m performances ever.

Claiming her third Diamond League trophy in Zurich was the icing on the cake for the World Champion who will be aiming for another global title next year. She was also one of the finalists for the World Female Athlete of the Year award.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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