After a record-setting start to Lucia Stafford’s 2023 season, she continued her run of strong performances at the USATF LA Grand Prix on May 27. Stafford ran a personal best time of 4:02.03 in the women’s 1,500m, surpassing the all-important automatic qualifying standard of 4:03.50 for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest this August.
A happy camper indeed 😁
After missing the @wabudapest23 mile/1500m standard indoors by less than a second, Lucia Stafford 🇨🇦 gets her qualifier with a personal best of 4:02.03 at the LA Grand Prix and is all smiles at the finish line. pic.twitter.com/8F1DrZZjkJ
— CITIUS MAG (@CitiusMag) May 27, 2023
The 24-year-old finished fourth in the women’s 1,500m at the LA Grand Prix behind Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji, who was fourth in the 1,500m at the world championships last year. Welteji won the race in a world-leading time of 3:57.84. Stafford narrowly beat her previous best of 4:02.12 from the 2020 Olympic 1,500m semi-final. Her time is the 12th fastest time in the world this year for the women’s 1,500m.
This career-best mark is redemption for Stafford, who barely missed the world championship qualifying standard indoors by less than a second at the 2023 Millrose Games, running 4:04.29.
Awesome running by 🇨🇦 Lucia Stafford. 4e du 1500m au GP Los Angeles PB 4:02.03. Ça va bien! pic.twitter.com/eKIvtE3zaD
— Classique d’athlétisme de Montréal (@MtlClassique) May 27, 2023
Since she has now hit the world championship standard, the Toronto-based pro has an automatic selection to represent Team Canada in the 1,500m at the 2023 World Championships. Stafford is the only Canadian woman to run under the 1,500m standard of 4:03.50 so far this year.
This is Stafford’s second race of the outdoor season. She opened her season at NYC Track Night on May 19, running the 800m in 2:03.27.