Laura Muir has ended her wait for a major global outdoor medal after taking silver in the 1500m at the Olympics.
The Scot set a new British record of three minutes and 54.50 seconds in Tokyo on Friday night as Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon claimed gold, defending her title, with Sifan Hassan winning bronze.
It ended Hassan’s remarkable triple bid on the track having already won the 5000m. She will also run in the 10000m on Saturday after missing out on an unprecedented hat-trick of wins.
The 28-year-old hit the front inside the first lap with Kipyegon and Muir responding along with Canada’s Gabriela DeBues-Stafford.
But Kipyegon took the lead early in the final lap and Muir moved into second with 200m to go.
Muir’s medal in Japan ends a run of several near misses at major championships.
She came seventh in the 1500m in Rio after fading despite being in medal contention with 200m to go; the disappointment followed the 2017 World Championships where she finished fourth by 0.07 seconds.
Since then she has become a quadruple European indoor champion, European champion in 2018 and claimed silver at the World Indoor Championships.
Muir also came fifth at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 after seeing her preparation hampered by an Achilles problem but finally reached the podium at the Olympic Stadium.
An emotional Muir told the BBC: “I don’t know what to say. I’ve worked so hard for so long.
“I’ve been fourth, fifth twice, sixth and seventh at global champs every year since 2015. I’ve got a silver and a British record as well.
“It felt like 3:54 because it was hurting – that last 100m I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared that someone was going to pass me and I was going to come fourth.
“I just gave it absolutely everything and I was tying up so bad but I thought keep pushing.”
Muir paid tribute to her coach Andy Young, adding: “I started working with him in 2011 so almost a decade next month and he’s sacrificed basically the last ten years for that four minutes back there. I just cannot thank him enough.”