MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Sweden’s Ethiopian-born Abeba Aregawi learned from her Olympic mistake and produced a devastating final 300 metres to deny defending champion Jennifer Simpson a second 1,500 metres gold at the world championships yesterday.
Simpson managed to find another gear coming towards the line as she fought desperately to retain her title but it was too late and Aregawi, who was cleared to compete for the Sweden last December, finished clear of the field in four minutes 2.67 seconds.
American Simpson, her ponytail bobbing frantically behind her, had to settle for silver in 4:02.99 and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri took the bronze with 4:03.86.
“After my failure at the Olympics last year, I worked specifically on the final 400 metres and on improving my finish. Today the race suited me perfectly,” said Aregawi.
Competing for Ethiopia, she had been a medal hope at London 2012 but found herself out of position and then almost fell in the final metres to finish fifth.
“I had trained very well to win in London but it was basically a technical mistake. I didn’t put myself in the correct position and there was a bit of jostling but I’ve corrected that,” she told a news conference through a translator.