Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 1500 metres

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Women's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
2012 Summer Olympics events, Athletics.jpg
Venue Olympic Stadium
Date 6–10 August
Competitors 46 from 26 nations
Winning time 4:10.23
Gold medal    Turkey
Silver medal    Turkey
Bronze medal    Bahrain
«2008 2016»
Athletics at the
2012 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
5000 m men women
10,000 m men women
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men women
3000 m
men women
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men women
Road events
Marathon men women
20 km walk men women
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men women
High jump men women
Pole vault men women
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men women
Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men

The Women's 1500 metres competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on 6–10 August.[1]

The qualifying rounds were typically strategic, with the second heat notably slower than the first and third. Notable for not qualifying was world championship bronze medalist (and 2009 first finisher) Natalia Rodríguez and Genzebe Dibaba, younger sister of 10000 metres gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba.

The semi finals were similarly inconsistent. In the first semi, the race was stringing out behind a last lap charge by Ethiopian born Bahraini Mimi Belete chased by Aslı Çakır Alptekin, the two leaders looking to be sure qualifiers. At the head of the final straight Alptekin passed Belete for the lead and Belete wilted, falling back through the field and changing the dynamic of the rush for qualifying positions, giving Shannon Rowbury a qualifying spot, while Hilary Stellingwerff and Corinna Harrer had to hope the second semi would go slowly. It didn't. Instead the second semi final went out significantly faster with Tatyana Tomashova pushing the pace after the first 200 metres. With 600 to go, Gamze Bulut passed Tomashova to accelerate the pace further. Abeba Aregawi stayed on Bulut's shoulder and sprinted past with 200 to go, stringing out the field, leaving reigning world champion Jennifer Simpson behind.

The final started out slowly, none of the entrants wanting to take the lead. By default Bulut and Maryam Yusuf Jamal found themselves in the lead, Jamal noticeably looking around for someone else to take the pace. The first lap was 1:15.12, literally a jog for athletes of this caliber. The second lap slightly faster, reached in 2:23.97. The two shared the leading duties until the bell, then both accelerated, with the field swarming to join them. Moments after the bell, Aregawi passed behind Morgan Uceny, who stumbled, her knee meeting the back-kick of Ekaterina Kostetskaya. Just like her experience in the 2011 World Championships, Uceny found herself on the ground as the field was sprinting away from her, leaving her in tears. Alptekin passed Bulut with 300 to go. Aregawi joined the lead group on the back stretch with Jamal and Bulut all jockeying for position behind Alptekin. Coming onto the home stretch Jamal looked like she was in position to move past Alptekin, but she never gained enough. Aregawi edged past Jamal with Bulut trying to close the gap. 20 metres before the finish Aregawi suddenly slowed as she was passed by Jamal at the same time as Bulut passed them both.[2]

In May 2013, several news organizations reported that winner Çakır Alptekin had tested positive for a banned substance.[3][4] As her second doping offense, she would face a lifetime ban if found guilty and stripped of her gold medal. Neither the IAAF nor WADA made an official confirmation of the positive drug test.[5]

Competition format[edit]

The Women's 1500 m competition consisted of heats (Round 1), Semifinals and a Final. The first 6 competitors in each heat of Round One along with the next six fastest overall qualified for the Semifinals.[6] In the Semifinals the first five in each heat along with the next two fastest overall qualified for the final. There was in fact a tie for the 12th fastest overall time and both tied athletes qualified for the final, making a total of 13 athletes.[7]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Qu Yunxia (CHN) 3:50.46 Beijing, China 11 September 1993
Olympic record  Paula Ivan (ROU) 3:53.96 Seoul, South Korea 26 September 1988
2012 World leading  Mariem Alaoui Selsouli (MAR) 3:56.15 Paris, France 6 July 2012


All times are British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Monday, 6 August 2012 11:45 Round 1
Wednesday, 8 August 2012 19:45 Semifinals
Friday, 10 August 2012 20:55 Finals


Round 1[edit]

Qual. rule: first 6 of each heat (Q) plus the 6 fastest times (q) qualified.

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Abeba Aregawi Ethiopia 4:04.55 Q
2 Tatyana Tomashova Russia 4:05.10 Q
3 Maryam Yusuf Jamal Bahrain 4:05.39 Q
4 Hellen Onsando Obiri Kenya 4:05.40 Q
5 Hannah England Great Britain 4:05.73 Q
6 Hilary Stellingwerff Canada 4:05.79 Q
7 Shannon Rowbury United States 4:06.03 q
8 Lucy van Dalen New Zealand 4:07.04 q
9 Lucia Klocova Slovakia 4:07.79 q, NR
10 Corinna Harrer Germany 4:07.83 q
11 Marina Munćan Serbia 4:11.25
12 Tereza Capkova Czech Republic 4:12.15
13 Anzhelika Shevchenko Ukraine 4:12.97
14 Natalia Rodríguez Spain 4:16.18
15 Tuğba Karakaya Turkey 4:29.21
N/A Btissam Lakhouad Morocco N/A DNF

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Lisa Dobriskey Great Britain 4:13.32 Q
2 Siham Hilali Morocco 4:13.34 Q
3 Aslı Çakır Alptekin Turkey 4:13.64 Q
4 Nuria Fernández Spain 4:13.72 Q
5 Kaila McKnight Australia 4:13.80 Q
6 Jennifer Simpson United States 4:13.81 Q
7 Ekaterina Martynova Russia 4:13.86
8 Genzeb Shumi Bahrain 4:14.02
9 Meskerem Assefa Ethiopia 4:15.52
10 Eunice Jepkoech Sum Kenya 4:16.95
11 Sonja Roman Slovenia 4:19.17
12 Eliane Saholinirina Madagascar 4:19.46
13 Renata Plis Poland 4:19.62
14 Chancel Ilunga Sankuru DR Congo 5:05.25
N/A Ingvill Makestad Bovim Norway N/A DNS

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Gamze Bulut Turkey 4:06.69 Q
2 Morgan Uceny United States 4:06.87 Q
3 Natallia Kareiva Belarus 4:06.87 Q, SB
4 Ekaterina Kostetskaya Russia 4:06.94 Q
5 Mimi Belete Bahrain 4:07.01 Q, SB
6 Laura Weightman Great Britain 4:07.29 Q
7 Nicole Sifuentes Canada 4:07.65 q
8 Zoe Buckman Australia 4:07.83 q
9 Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon Kenya 4:08.78
10 Genzebe Dibaba Ethiopia 4:11.15
11 Janet Achola Uganda 4:11.64
12 Isabel Macías Spain 4:13.07
13 Anna Mishchenko Ukraine 4:13.63
14 Betlhem Desalegn United Arab Emirates 4:14.07
15 Gladys Landaverde El Salvador 4:18.26 NR


Qual. rule: first 5 of each semifinal (Q) plus the 2 fastest times (q) qualified.

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Aslı Çakır Alptekin Turkey 4:05.11 Q
2 Ekaterina Kostetskaya Russia 4:05.32 Q
3 Morgan Uceny United States 4:05.34 Q
4 Lisa Dobriskey Great Britain 4:05.35 Q
5 Shannon Rowbury United States 4:05.47 Q
6 Hilary Stellingwerff Canada 4:05.57
7 Corinna Harrer Germany 4:05.70
8 Mimi Belete Bahrain 4:05.91 SB
9 Hannah England Great Britain 4:06.35
10 Nuria Fernandez Spain 4:06.57 SB
11 Lucy van Dalen New Zealand 4:06.97
12 Kaila McKnight Australia 4:08.44

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Abeba Aregawi Ethiopia 4:01.03 Q
2 Gamze Bulut Turkey 4:01.18 Q, PB
3 Tatyana Tomashova Russia 4:02.10 Q
4 Maryam Yusuf Jamal Bahrain 4:02.18 Q, SB
5 Hellen Onsando Obiri Kenya 4:02.30 Q
6 Natallia Kareiva Belarus 4:02.37 q, PB
7 Laura Weightman Great Britain 4:02.99 q, PB
8 Lucia Klocova Slovakia 4:02.99 q, NR
9 Siham Hilali Morocco 4:04.79
10 Zoe Buckman Australia 4:05.03 PB
11 Nicole Sifuentes Canada 4:06.33
12 Jennifer Simpson United States 4:06.89


Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes[8]
1 Aslı Çakır Alptekin Turkey 4:10.23
2 Gamze Bulut Turkey 4:10.40
3 Maryam Yusuf Jamal Bahrain 4:10.74
4 Tatyana Tomashova Russia 4:10.90
5 Abeba Aregawi Ethiopia 4:11.03
6 Shannon Rowbury United States 4:11.26
7 Natallia Kareiva Belarus 4:11.58
8 Lucia Klocová Slovakia 4:12.64
9 Ekaterina Kostetskaya Russia 4:12.90
10 Lisa Dobriskey Great Britain 4:13.02
11 Laura Weightman Great Britain 4:15.60
12 Hellen Onsando Obiri Kenya 4:16.57
N/A Morgan Uceny United States N/A DNF