Jessica Hull stunned by electric pace in the 1,500m final at the World Championships, finishing 7th

Jessica Hull’s dream of a first major medal ended with an extraordinary first lap of the women’s 1,500m final at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, Oregon.

The national record holder could only watch in awe as the leading group of four, including eventual gold medalist Faith Kipyegon, surged ahead to run the first lap in 55 seconds, faster than Hull’s personal best of 400m.

Hull held her ground to finish seventh in 4:01.82, before committing to go back to the drawing board with her trainer, Pete Julian, and come up with a plan to race Kipyegon.

With her gold medal-winning effort of 3:52.96, the Kenyan finished less than three seconds off the world record, while junior medalists Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia and Britain’s Laura Muir dipped under 3:56.

Kipyegon’s winning effort was the tenth fastest of all time, while the gap from third to fourth was a staggering six seconds.

“It’s like this event is becoming the 800 meters,” Hull said.

“My fastest 400 is way over 55 seconds.

“But, if I have to train to get below 60 in the first lap, then we’ll have to practice that.”

Hull were at least pleased with their significant improvement over last year’s Olympics, where they took a disappointing 11th place in the final, also won by Kipyegon.

“It’s about progression, which is the best thing about our sport,” he said.

“In Tokyo, I was four or five seconds slower in the final than in my semi-final, whereas tonight I matched what I did in the semi-final and got a top eight finish.

“So I’m getting more consistent, and with consistency comes big improvement.”

A close up of Jessica Hull looking forward
Jessica Hull was taken aback by the electric pace of the 1,500m final.(Getty Images: Ezra Shaw)

Hull will now turn his attention to the 5,000m heats on Thursday (AEST).

Fellow Australian Georgia Griffith was happy to finish ninth in 4:03.26 in her first major final.

“It was such a fast race and I was definitely feeling it after two rounds,” said the Victorian, who will drop the distance to the 800m for the Commonwealth Games next month.

“I tried to stay on it as best I could.”

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