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Mike Rosenbaum

Aregawi Dominates the 1500: Women's Middle Distance and Steeplechase Review

By December 26, 2013

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Kenya's Eunice Sum enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, posting the third-fastest 800-meter time of the year at the best possible moment, the World Championship final, to earn the gold medal in Moscow. Sum finished in 1:57.38, ahead of Mariya Savinova and Brenda Martinez. Francine Niyonsaba ran the year's top two times, including 1:56.72 in Eugene. But the 20-year-old suffered a training injury and missed the World Championships. Niyonsaba won three Diamond League races before her injury while Sum won two, including the Diamond Race final, to win the overall title. Malika Akkaoui ran the fourth-best time of 2013 at 1:57.64. Martinez and fellow American Alysia Montano were the only runners other than Niyonsaba to have two times in the year's top 10.

Abeba Aregawi was the year's unquestioned star of the women's 1500 meters. She won the fastest race of 2013, in Doha, which produced the year's top three times. Aregawi won the event in 3:56.60, ahead of Faith Kipyegon and Genzebe Dibaba. Aregawi also had the fifth-fastest time of the year. In August she won the World Championship final, with Jennifer Simpson second and Hellen Obiri third. Aregawi also won the Diamond League title by taking six of the seven races, with Simpson winning once. Kipyegon and Obiri both posted two times in the year's top 10.

There were few major international women's mile races in 2013, as Nancy Langat posted the world's fastest time, 4:28.50, in Philadelphia. The next six best times came in Dublin, in a race won by Brianna Felnagle in 4:30.44.

The World Championship final was the fastest women's steeplechase of the year as the medalists earned the year's top three times. Milcah Chemos won the race in 9:11.65, followed by Lidya Chepkurui and Sofia Assefa. Chemos posted three times in the year's top 10, all victories. Chepkurui and Assefa also cracked the top 10 three times apiece. Chepkurui won the season's first two Diamond League events but Chemos won four of the next five and the overall championship.

Read more:
Check out new articles detailing the men's and women's world record progressions in the 1500 meters.

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