When the sprint for home began on Friday night in Tokyo, when guts were required and glory was the prize that glistened in the distance, Laura Muir did not hesitate for even a second.

Brave and bold, as the ferocious cadence of the Olympic women’s 1500 metres final split the pack from the powers, the 28-year-old tracked her presumed rivals Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan with nothing held in reserve.

There lingered the threat that this might be a replay of Rio in 2016 when the Scot imploded on the last lap and faded to seventh. She has worked tirelessly to ensure this script could be re-written. Her coach of a decade Andy Young too.

All for the Hollywood ending that unfolded when the breakaway became two and it was Hassan who had folded first.

Muir held on and this time, there was no wave behind that could swallow her up. Faith Kipyegon bolted away to retain her title in an Olympic record of 3:53.11. The Kenyan, a mother now but returning indomitable, golden again.

But behind stormed Muir, smashing her British record to secure silver in 3:54.50, becoming only the third female Scottish track athlete to win an Olympic medal in an individual event in succession to Liz McColgan and Yvonne Murray.


The veterinarian from Kinross-shire with a surgery executed as the textbooks demanded. Weeping on the track then bouncing up for a lap of honour at Kipyegon’s side. Hassan, already with gold from the 5,000m, left with bronze and to pursue a third medal in the 10,000m on Saturday night.

“I’ve worked so hard for so long,” said Muir. “I have been fourth, fifth twice, sixth and seventh at a global championships every year since 2015.

“With everything last year with the postponement, not knowing if it would go ahead, and I have silver. And a British record as well.

“You have to be as best prepared as possible for any situation. I trained as hard as I could as if this would happen. I had no doubt in my mind it wouldn’t happen. And hope it would come. I was nervous all week, saying: ‘Why is the 1500m at the end?’”

She has her global medal now, to accompany her European titles and world indoor prizes, matching the 800m silver from from team-mate Keely Hodgkinson. What a night.

Earlier, fellow Scot Andy Butchart was eleventh in the men’s 5000m final in a season’s best 13:09.97 as Uganda’s world record holder Joshua Cheptegei took gold in 12:58.15.

While Jodie Williams came sixth in the 400m final, equalling her personal best of 49.97 secs.

“I went for it, I risked it, went out strong and I just didn’t have the legs in the end,” the British champion said. “This is my first ever final, first year doing the event, I was close. 


“Right now I’m upset, but I think in hindsight I’ll be very proud of myself. Just making this final alone, in a new event, like I said before I’ve only run four 400s before this year, I stepped up this year and medalled indoors, and now I’m an Olympic finalist with two back-to-back 49s.

"I’ve pulled a performance out of the bag when it matters most every time, right now I’m just gutted that it wasn’t enough to get that medal that would have been just such a nice end to such a great season, but I really can’t be upset.”