By Christian Radnedge
LONDON (Reuters) – Defending 1500m world champion Genzebe Dibaba faced an agonizing wait before securing qualification for the final after closely contested semi-finals on Saturday.
The Ethiopian world record holder finished sixth in the first semi, meaning she had to wait until the second race was finished before discovering that she had gone through as one of the fastest qualifiers following the automatic places.
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya looks a good bet to add the world title to her 2016 Olympic gold on Monday as she led the way with the fastest time of 4:03.54.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands consolidated her position as one of the favorites by qualifying with ease, coming first in her semi-final in a time of 4:03.77. She will be looking to upgrade from the bronze medal she won in Beijing two years ago.
They will be joined by Caster Semenya of South Africa. The twice 800m world champion showed her power in a strong final lap and she could be a strong challenger in her first major 1500m final.
The home crowd were not disappointed as Britons Laura Muir and Laura Weightman made it through.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)