American Chanelle Price went straight to the front and never faltered in the women’s 800-meter final, winning the race in a world-leading 2:00.09. Price set a fast pace with a 27.88-second opening lap, then eased off the gas a bit, but responded to every challenge on the final lap. She’s the first American woman to win a World Championships 800-meter gold medal, either indoors or outdoors. Chasing Price to the finish line were Poland’s Angelika Cichocka, who took the silver in 2:00.45, and bronze medalist Marina Arzamasova of Belarus, who finished in a personal best 2:00.79.
Cichocka ran a then world-leading 2:00.37 in the first preliminary heat to lead all qualifiers. Natalia Lupu of Ukraine and Switzerland’s Selina Buchel won the other heats. Price led most of the way before settling for second in Buchel’s heat, finishing in 2:01.05. Fellow American Ajee Wilson – the 2011 World Youth champion and 2012 World Junior champ in the outdoor 800 – surprisingly did not reach the final. She finished fourth in Lupu’s heat, in 2:02.90.
Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi was as big a favorite as there was in the Championships, so it was no surprise that she dominated the 1500-meter final. Aregawi took charge by the 600-meter mark and ran off by herself, crossing the line in 4:00.61. Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia finished second in a personal best 4:07.12 while Rababe Arafi of Morocco crossed the line third in 4:07.53, just ahead of Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes, who ran a national indoor record 4:07.61. Sifuentes, in turn, just edged Morocco’s Siham Hilali (4:07.62) and American Treniere Moser (4:07.84). Sifuentes’ efforts to take fourth proved significant when Arafi was disqualified for a lane violation, giving the Canadian the bronze medal.
In preliminary competition, Aregawi won the second heat in 4:08.74. American Heather Kampf was a surprise in the first heat, leading almost all the way until Arafi passed her to win in 4:10.95. Kampf also led in the final before being slowed by a collision and then was disqualified due to a lane violation. Moser won the third heat in 4:12.63.
To nobody’s surprise, 23-year-old Genzebe Dibaba pulled away from the field in the final laps to win the women’s 3000-meter gold medal in 8:55.04. A very slow early pace left the Ethiopian with no opportunity to challenge for another world record, after setting three indoor world marks earlier in the season. Dibaba patiently jogged from the back of the field up to second place during the early laps. By the 2000-meter mark Dibaba – the 2012 World Indoor gold medalist in the 1500 meters – was in her accustomed spot in front of the field and wasn’t going to be caught. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri took second in 8:57.72 while Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain finished in 8:59.16 to gain third place.
Jamal (8:53.07) and Dibaba (8:57.86) won the qualifying heats.
More from the 2014 World Indoor Championships: