Laura Muir admits beating ‘very, very fast’ Faith Kipyegon to World Athletics Championships gold is huge ask
The Briton, who stormed to her first outdoor global medal with silver at the Tokyo Olympics, is once again up against Faith Kipyegon, who beat Muir in Tokyo.
And assessing her own chances, she said: “I’m potentially a little bit biased but I think – man or woman – she’s the best 1500m runner this world has ever seen. She’s been in every single world finals since 2015 and almost every time has won a medal, as well as back-to-back Olympics and having a child.
“An amazing athlete and it’s an honour to run alongside her even though she’s very, very fast. I’m not going to say I don’t want to go for the gold – that would be amazing.
“But the competition’s potentially going to be the strongest it’s ever been, or could arguably be even stronger than last year in Tokyo. Some of the times that the girls are running now are faster than what I’ve run. I want to come away from this champs with a medal.”
Muir’s earlier part to the season was curtailed by a hip injury but she said she was hitting optimal fitness at just the right time, with increasingly quick times with coach Andy Young in training.
Rather than seeing her motivation dip, she said she had been boosted to kick on since the Olympic silver medal.
“I guess it just does give me a lot of confidence in myself that I’ve been here, done it before,” he said. “You have competed at a global and I have been on that podium.
“So, it’s fantastic to have that experience under my belt already and know that regardless of how things go in the future, I will always have an Olympic medal. It just gives me a lot of confidence. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself.”
In Eugene, Muir said she was preparing herself for the fact that she might need to lower her own British record simply to get on the podium amid “an awful lot of fast people”.
In recent years, Laura Muir has set the benchmark for British middle-distance running but has been joined at the major championships by fellow Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson and Muir’s training partner Jemma Reekie, who was fourth in the 800m in Tokyo.
Of the rise in British middle-distance running – both male and female – she said: “It’s fantastic, actually it’s insane. The standard is insanely high so it’s a fantastic place to be.”