08 MAR 2014 Report Sopot, Poland

Report: women's 1500m final – Sopot 2014

Abeba Aregawi winning the 1500m at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships (Getty Images)Abeba Aregawi winning the 1500m at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi fulfilled her role as the prohibitive favourite for the women’s 1500m as she ran away from the rest of the field at 500m and just carried on extending her lead throughout the rest of the race before crossing the line in 4:00.61.

It was less than a second outside the championship record of 3:59.75 set in 2008 by Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka.

After taking off from the rest of the field, the world champion and European indoor record-holder went through 800m in 2:09.44, 1000m in 2:41.08, 1200m in 3:13.37, and 1400m in 3:45.37 and crossed the line 40 metres clear of her nearest rival.

Behind her, there was an engaging battle for the minor medals.

Albania’s Luiza Gega led the chasing pack from most of the last kilometre but started to falter in the final 100m, with Ethiopia’s teenage talent Axumawit Embaye being the first to go past her and then hanging on to take the silver medal in a personal best of 4:07.12.

Little more than 20 metres from the line, Morocco’s Siham Hilali held third place but her compatriot Rababe Arafi snuck through on the inside and appeared to get the bronze medal in what initially was a personal best of 4:07.53.

As Hilali started to tire, Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes went past her on the outside and posted a national indoor record of 4:07.61 with Hilali 0.01 in arrears.

However, just under an hour after the event had finished and 30 minutes after the medal ceremony, it was announced that Arafi (along with the USA’s Heather Kampf) had been disqualified for stepping on the inside of the track and so Sifuentes was belatedly promoted to third place.

Hilali was also initially disqualified for jostling other runners but later reinstated.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF