The Russian pair of Yelena Soboleva, the recently-minted World Indoor record holder* in the event, and Yuliya Chizhenko were expected to be in the hunt for top honours in the 1500m. But it was Chizhenko who emerged as the winner from a delightfully tactical contest as she reached the line in 4:04.70.
The pair, with Soboleva in front, led the field through the first 1000 metres, before Maryam Yusef Jamal of Bahrain made her bid for the lead. But her challenge would be short-lived. Hind Dehiba of France made a surprise move for the lead at the bell, picking up the pace, and leaving Jamal a few steps behind. Soboleva and Chizhenko past the Frenchwoman to regain control. Soboleva powered on, only to passed by Chizhenko as she headed off the final turn. The 26-year-old made up for her disqualification from last summer's World championships with her impressive win, well ahead of Soboleva's 4:05.21.
"We had a tactical plan that worked," Chizhenko revealed. "We wanted with Yelena to make the pace and not allow others to reach the front."
Dehiba's brave move for the lead nearly paid off; the European Indoor bronze medallist was on her way to a global bronze until she tripped just a few metres before the finish line, allowing Jamal to collect the bronze (4:05.53). Dehiba's 4:05.67 was nonetheless a French national record.
Further back in fifth, Iryna Lishchynska crossed the line in 4:07.82, a season's best for the Ukrainian champion.
*World record subject to ratification