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Tracey would love to see Kipyegon get 1500m WR

Published:Wednesday | September 7, 2022 | 12:09 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Adelle Tracey (third right) tracks the field led by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon (centre) during the women’s 1500m at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Jamaica’s Adelle Tracey (third right) tracks the field led by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon (centre) during the women’s 1500m at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

JAMAICA’S ADELLE Tracey isn’t a pacemaker by trade, but almost led Faith Kipyegon to a world record in Monaco last month.

The fabulous Kenyan may have another crack at the record – three minutes, 50.07 seconds – this week at the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland, and Tracey would love it if Kipyegon was successful.

The record was set by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia seven years ago in Monaco. This year, American Allie Wilson and Tracey took the little Kenyan through 800m in two minutes, 01.6 seconds, world record pace, and then after Wilson stopped, the Jamaican carried Kipyegon for another 100 metres. The result was the second fastest time in history for the double World and Olympic champion, three minutes, 50.37 seconds.

Tracey was delighted to help.

“I’ve got so much respect for Faith,” she said after winning two medals for herself at the recent NACAC Open Championships in The Bahamas.

“She works super hard. I actually paced Faith in Monaco in that world record attempt where she did 3.50.3. She was only 0.3 off the world record, so it was a really useful experience partially because obviously it’s great to see what you can do running at that pace. I was trying to take her through 800m and I got to 900m at pace. So I think it’s important to know what that feels like,” Tracey said about how the race blended with her own transition from being purely an 800-metre runner to the longer event.

Wilson, who won the silver to Tracey’s bronze in the NACAC 800 metres, is among the starters for the Zurich 1500m.

The Jamaican isn’t on the Weltklasse start list, but it’s a certainty that she will be watching.

“I would have loved to see Faith get that world record because I know how much hard work she puts in and yes, it’s inspiring the rest of us, and I aspire to be as good as that,” she underlined.

Tracey hopes to set records of her own one day. Reacting to the mention of the Jamaican record set by Yvonne Graham at 4.01.84 in 1995, she replied: “I know that there’s been some good Jamaican 1500 runners in the past and I think it’s important to continue that legacy and to see more Jamaican women in middle distance events, especially longer events, the 1500 metres, the 5k and up.

“You know, I’ve definitely seen those records there so hopefully, in the future I can do my best to try and set some records,” said Tracey.

In her first season racing for Jamaica, the former British international clocked lifetime bests one minute, 59.20 seconds for the 800m and four minutes, 02.36 seconds in the 1500m, in addition to racing her way into both semi-finals at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. In the 1500m, the only Jamaican with a faster time than Tracey is Graham, the wife of Jamaican 400-metre hurdles great, Winthrop, who raced in the 1995 World final.