As is her custom, Montano tried to win from the front in the final, taking a big lead and running the first 400 meters in 56.06. Montano led all the way through the final turn before the field caught her. Sum moved ahead and become a mildly surprising winner in a personal best 1:57.38. Savinova took second in 1:57.80, while Martinez charged down the inside to edge Montano at the line. Martinez finished in a personal best 1:57.91 to gain the bronze medal. Montano dove forward at the line, but had to settle for fourth, just .04 behind Martinez.
The Ethiopian-born Aregawi, running for Sweden, started strongly by winning her opening heat in 4:07.66. Cain took the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot in the race, finishing in 4:08.21. Simpson ran 4:07.16 in her heat, placing second by .17 to Australia's Zoe Buckman, while Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won the third heat in 4:06.78, just ahead of Kenya's Hellen Obiri (4:06.98).
Buckman won the first semifinal in a personal best 4:04.82, with Cain a solid fourth in 4:05.21 to qualify for the final. Aregawi won a tight second semifinal in 4:05.66, ahead of Obiri (4:05.76) and Simpson (4:05.79).
Simpson, who won her 2011 title with a late charge, took the early lead in the Moscow final and remained on top until Aregawi moved ahead on the last lap. Aregawi paced herself well, taking the lead and holding on to win the gold in 4:02.67. Simpson remained strong to the line and gained the silver in 4:02.99, with Obiri third in 4:03.86. Cain, who showed all week that she'd be a major force in the near future, was 10th in 4:07.19.
Chemos led most of the way in the final, which quickly settled into a six-runner battle featuring three Kenyans and three Ethiopians. Assefa dropped back a bit after falling on the penultimate lap, and the leaders were strung out in a line at the bell. Chemos and Chepkurui pulled in front, then Chemos moved even farther ahead and prevailed down the stretch to win in a world-leading 9:11.65. Assefa made a late run, rallying strongly from her fall and passing Ayalew to gain the bronze. Chepkurui finished second in a personal best 9:12.55 while Assefa ran 9:12.84.