1500 metres

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1500 metres
The three Olavis.jpg
Olavi Salsola, Olavi Salonen and Olavi Vuorisalo (The three Olavis) break the 1,500 m world record in 1957 in Turku, Finland.
Men's records
World  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3:26.00 (1998)
Olympic  Noah Ngeny (KEN) 3:32.07 (2000)
Women's records
World  Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) 3:50.07 (2015)
Olympic  Paula Ivan (ROM) 3:53.96 (1988)

The 1500 metres or 1,500-metre run (approximately 1516 mile) is the foremost middle distance track event in athletics. The distance has been contested at the Summer Olympics since 1896 and the World Championships in Athletics since 1983.

The demands of the race are similar to that of the 800 metres, but with a slightly higher emphasis on aerobic endurance and a slightly lower sprint speed requirement. The 1500 metre race is predominantly aerobic, but anaerobic conditioning is also required.[1]

Each lap run during the world-record race run by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1998 in Rome, Italy averaged just under 55 seconds (or under 13.8 seconds per 100 metres).[2] 1,500 metres is three and three-quarter laps around a 400-metre track. During the 1970s and 1980s this race was dominated by British runners, along with an occasional Finn, American, or New Zealander, but through the 1990s a large number of African runners began to take over in being the masters of this race, with runners from Kenya, Morocco, and Algeria winning the Olympic gold medals.

In the Modern Olympic Games, the men's 1,500-metre race has been contested from the beginning, and at every Olympiad since. The first winner, in 1896, was Edwin Flack of Australia, who also won the first gold medal in the 800-metre race. The women's 1,500-metre race was first added to the Summer Olympics in 1972, and the winner of the first gold medal was Lyudmila Bragina of the Soviet Union. During the Olympiads of 1972 through 2008, the women's 1,500-metre race has been won by three Soviets plus one Russian, one Italian, one Romanian, one Briton, one Kenyan, and two Algerians. The best times for the race were controversially[3] set by Chinese runners, all set in the same race on just two dates 4 years apart at the Chinese National Games.

In American high schools, the mile run (which is 1609.344 metres in length) and the 1,600-metre run, also colloquially referred to as "metric mile", are more frequently run than the 1,500-metre run, since US customary units are better-known in America. Which distance is used depends on which state the high school is in, and, for convenience, national rankings are standardized by converting all 1,600-metre run times to their mile run equivalents.[4]


Many 1500 metres events, particularly at the championship level, turn into slow, strategic races, with the pace quickening and competitors jockeying for position in the final lap to settle the race in a final sprint. Such is the difficulty of maintaining the pace throughout the duration of the event, most records are set in planned races led by pacemakers who sacrifice their opportunity to win by leading the early laps at a fast pace before dropping out.

"The person who wins the race is behind watching"

— Filbert Bayi, former world record holder[5]

Top 25 fastest athletes[edit]


  • Correct as of July 2015.
Rank Result Athlete Nation Date Location Ref
1 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 14 July 1998 Rome
2 3:26.34 Bernard Lagat  Kenya 24 August 2001 Brussels
3 3:26.69 Asbel Kiprop  Kenya 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [6]
4 3:27.37 Noureddine Morceli  Algeria 12 July 1995 Nice
5 3:27.64 Silas Kiplagat  Kenya 18 July 2014 Fontvieille [7]
6 3:28.12 Noah Ngeny  Kenya 11 August 2000 Zürich
7 3:28.75 Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [8]
8 3:28.79 Abdalaati Iguider  Morocco 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [9]
9 3:28.81 Mo Farah  Great Britain 19 July 2013 Fontvieille [10]
10 3:28.81 Ronald Kwemoi  Kenya 18 July 2014 Fontvieille [11]
11 3:28.95 Fermín Cacho  Spain 13 August 1997 Zürich
12 3:28.98 Mehdi Baala  France 5 September 2003 Brussels
13 3:29.02 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen  Kenya 14 July 2006 Rome
14 3:29.14 Rashid Ramzi  Bahrain 14 July 2006 Rome
15 3:29.18 Venuste Niyongabo  Burundi 22 August 1997 Brussels
16 3:29.29 William Chirchir  Kenya 24 August 2001 Brussels
17 3:29.46 Said Aouita  Morocco 23 August 1985 Berlin
17 3:29.46 Daniel Komen  Kenya 16 August 1997 Fontvieille
19 3:29.47 Augustine Choge  Kenya 22 August 1997 Brussels
20 3:29.50 Caleb Ndiku  Kenya 19 July 2013 Fontvieille
21 3:29.51 Ali Saidi-Sief  Algeria 4 July 2001 Brussels
22 3:29.53 Amine Laalou  Morocco 22 July 2010 Fontvieille
23 3:29.58 Ayanleh Souleiman  Djibouti 18 July 2014 Fontvieille
24 3:29.66 Nick Willis  New Zealand 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [12]
25 3:29.67 Steve Cram  Great Britain 16 July 1985 Nice


  • Correct as of July 2015.[13]
Rank Res. Athlete Nation Date Location Ref
1 3:50.07 Genzebe Dibaba  Ethiopia 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [14]
2 3:50.46 Yunxia Qu  China 11 September 1993 Beijing
3 3:50.98 Bo Jiang  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
4 3:51.34 Yinglai Lang  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
5 3:51.92 Junxia Wang  China 11 September 1993 Beijing
6 3:52.47 Tatyana Kazankina  Soviet Union 13 August 1980 Zürich
7 3:53.91 Lili Yin  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
8 3:53.96 Paula Ivan  Romania 1 October 1988 Seoul
9 3:53.97 Lixin Lan  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
10 3:54.23 Olga Dvirna  Soviet Union 27 July 1982 Kiev
11 3:54.52 Ling Zhang  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
12 3:55.07 Yanmei Dong  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
13 3:55.30 Hassiba Boulmerka  Algeria 8 August 1992 Barcelona
14 3:55.33 Sureyya Ayhan  Turkey 5 September 2003 Brussels
15 3:55.68 Yuliya Fomenko  Russia 8 July 2006 Paris
16 3:56.05 Sifan Hassan  Netherlands 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [15]
17 3:56.14 Zamira Zaitseva  Soviet Union 27 July 1982 Kyiv
18 3:56.15 Mariem Selsouli  Morocco 6 July 2012 Paris
19 3:56.18 Maryam Yusuf Jamal  Bahrain 27 August 2006 Rieti
20 3:56.29 Shannon Rowbury  United States 17 July 2015 Fontvieille [16]
21 3:56.31 Dong Liu  China 17 October 1997 Shanghai
22 3:56.43 Elena Soboleva  Russia 8 July 2006 Paris
23 3:56.50 Tatyana Pozdnyakova  Soviet Union 27 July 1982 Kyiv
24 3:56.54 Abeba Aregawi  Ethiopia 31 May 2012 Rome
25 3:56.62 Aslı Çakır Alptekin  Turkey 6 July 2012 Paris

Olympic medalists[edit]


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
 Edwin Flack (AUS)  Arthur Blake (USA)  Albin Lermusiaux (FRA)
1900 Paris
 Charles Bennett (GBR)  Henri Deloge (FRA)  John Bray (USA)
1904 St. Louis
 James Lightbody (USA)  Frank Verner (USA)  Lacey Hearn (USA)
1908 London
 Mel Sheppard (USA)  Harold Wilson (GBR)  Norman Hallows (GBR)
1912 Stockholm
 Arnold Jackson (GBR)  Abel Kiviat (USA)  Norman Taber (USA)
1920 Antwerp
 Albert Hill (GBR)  Philip Baker (GBR)  Lawrence Shields (USA)
1924 Paris
 Paavo Nurmi (FIN)  Willy Schärer (SUI)  Henry Stallard (GBR)
1928 Amsterdam
 Harri Larva (FIN)  Jules Ladoumègue (FRA)  Eino Purje (FIN)
1932 Los Angeles
 Luigi Beccali (ITA)  Jerry Cornes (GBR)  Phil Edwards (CAN)
1936 Berlin
 Jack Lovelock (NZL)  Glenn Cunningham (USA)  Luigi Beccali (ITA)
1948 London
 Henry Eriksson (SWE)  Lennart Strand (SWE)  Wim Slijkhuis (NED)
1952 Helsinki
 Josy Barthel (LUX)  Bob McMillen (USA)  Werner Lueg (GER)
1956 Melbourne
 Ron Delany (IRL)  Klaus Richtzenhain (EUA)  John Landy (AUS)
1960 Rome
 Herb Elliott (AUS)  Michel Jazy (FRA)  István Rózsavölgyi (HUN)
1964 Tokyo
 Peter Snell (NZL)  Josef Odložil (TCH)  John Davies (NZL)
1968 Mexico City
 Kipchoge Keino (KEN)  Jim Ryun (USA)  Bodo Tümmler (FRG)
1972 Munich
 Pekka Vasala (FIN)  Kipchoge Keino (KEN)  Rod Dixon (NZL)
1976 Montreal
 John Walker (NZL)  Ivo van Damme (BEL)  Paul-Heinz Wellmann (FRG)
1980 Moscow
 Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Jürgen Straub (GDR)  Steve Ovett (GBR)
1984 Los Angeles
 Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Steve Cram (GBR)  José Manuel Abascal (ESP)
1988 Seoul
 Peter Rono (KEN)  Peter Elliott (GBR)  Jens-Peter Herold (GDR)
1992 Barcelona
 Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Rachid El Basir (MAR)  Mohammed Suleiman (QAT)
1996 Atlanta
 Noureddine Morceli (ALG)  Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Stephen Kipkorir (KEN)
2000 Sydney
 Noah Ngeny (KEN)  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Bernard Lagat (KEN)
2004 Athens
 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Bernard Lagat (KEN)  Rui Silva (POR)
2008 Beijing
 Asbel Kiprop (KEN)  Nick Willis (NZL)  Mehdi Baala (FRA)
2012 London
 Taoufik Makhloufi (ALG)  Leonel Manzano (USA)  Abdalaati Iguider (MAR)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1972 Munich
 Lyudmila Bragina (URS)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Paola Pigni (ITA)
1976 Montreal
 Tatyana Kazankina (URS)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Ulrike Klapezynski (GDR)
1980 Moscow
 Tatyana Kazankina (URS)  Christiane Wartenberg (GDR)  Nadezhda Olizarenko (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
 Gabriella Dorio (ITA)  Doina Melinte (ROU)  Maricica Puică (ROU)
1988 Seoul
 Paula Ivan (ROU)  Laimutė Baikauskaitė (URS)  Tetyana Samolenko (URS)
1992 Barcelona
 Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG)  Lyudmila Rogachova (EUN)  Qu Yunxia (CHN)
1996 Atlanta
 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)  Gabriela Szabo (ROU)  Theresia Kiesl (AUT)
2000 Sydney
 Nouria Mérah-Benida (ALG)  Violeta Szekely (ROU)  Gabriela Szabo (ROU)
2004 Athens
 Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)  Maria Cioncan (ROU)
2008 Beijing
 Nancy Langat (KEN)  Iryna Lishchynska (UKR)  Nataliya Tobias (UKR)
2012 London
 Gamze Bulut (TUR)  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN)

World Championship medalists[edit]


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Steve Cram (GBR)  Steve Scott (USA)  Saïd Aouita (MAR)
1987 Rome  Abdi Bile (SOM)  José Luis González (ESP)  Jim Spivey (USA)
1991 Tokyo  Noureddine Morceli (ALG)  Wilfred Kirochi (KEN)  Hauke Fuhlbrügge (GER)
1993 Stuttgart  Noureddine Morceli (ALG)  Fermin Cacho Ruiz (ESP)  Abdi Bile (SOM)
1995 Gothenburg  Noureddine Morceli (ALG)  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Vénuste Niyongabo (BDI)
1997 Athens  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Reyes Estévez (ESP)
1999 Seville  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Noah Ngeny (KEN)  Reyes Estévez (ESP)
2001 Edmonton  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Bernard Lagat (KEN)  Driss Maazouzi (FRA)
2003 Saint-Denis  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  Mehdi Baala (FRA)  Ivan Heshko (UKR)
2005 Helsinki  Rashid Ramzi (BHR)  Adil Kaouch (MAR)  Rui Silva (POR)
2007 Osaka  Bernard Lagat (USA)  Rashid Ramzi (BHR)  Shedrack Kibet Korir (KEN)
2009 Berlin  Yusuf Saad Kamel (BHR)  Deresse Mekonnen (ETH)  Bernard Lagat (USA)
2011 Daegu  Asbel Kiprop (KEN)  Silas Kiplagat (KEN)  Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. (USA)
2013 Moscow  Asbel Kiprop (KEN)  Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. (USA)  Johan Cronje (RSA)
2015 Beijing  Asbel Kiprop (KEN)  Elijah Motonei Manangoi (KEN)  Abdalaati Iguider (MAR)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Mary Decker (USA)  Zamira Zaytseva (URS)  Yekaterina Podkopayeva (URS)
1987 Rome  Tatyana Dorovskikh (URS)  Hildegard Körner (GDR)  Doina Melinte (ROU)
1991 Tokyo  Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG)  Tatyana Dorovskikh (URS)  Lyudmila Rogachova (URS)
1993 Stuttgart  Liu Dong (CHN)  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL)  Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG)
1995 Gothenburg  Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG)  Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Carla Sacramento (POR)
1997 Athens  Carla Sacramento (POR)  Regina Jacobs (USA)  Anita Weyermann (SUI)
1999 Seville  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)  Regina Jacobs (USA)  Kutre Dulecha (ETH)
2001 Edmonton  Gabriela Szabo (ROU)  Violeta Szekely (ROU)  Natalya Gorelova (RUS)
2003 Saint-Denis  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)  Süreyya Ayhan (TUR)  Hayley Tullett (GBR)
2005 Helsinki  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)  Olga Yegorova (RUS)  Bouchra Ghezielle (FRA)
2007 Osaka  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR)  Iryna Lishchynska (UKR)  Daniela Yordanova (BUL)
2009 Berlin  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR)  Lisa Dobriskey (GBR)  Shannon Rowbury (USA)
2011 Daegu  Jennifer Simpson (USA)  Hannah England (GBR)  Natalia Rodríguez (ESP)
2013 Moscow  Abeba Aregawi (SWE)  Jennifer Simpson (USA)  Hellen Onsando Obiri (KEN)
2015 Beijing  Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)  Faith Kipyegon (KEN)  Sifan Hassan (NED)

European Championship medalists[edit]


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1934 Turin  Luigi Beccali (ITA)  Miklós Szabó (HUN)  Roger Normand (FRA)
1938 Paris  Sydney Wooderson (GBR)  Joseph Mostert (BEL)  Luigi Beccali (ITA)
1946 Oslo  Lennart Strand (SWE)  Henry Eriksson (SWE)  Erik Jørgensen (DEN)
1950 Brussels  Wim Slijkhuis (NED)  Patrick El Mabrouk (FRA)  Bill Nankeville (GBR)
1954 Bern  Roger Bannister (GBR)  Gunnar Nielsen (DEN)  Stanislav Jungwirth (TCH)
1958 Stockholm  Brian Hewson (GBR)  Dan Waern (SWE)  Ron Delany (IRL)
1962 Belgrade  Michel Jazy (FRA)  Witold Baran (POL)  Tomáš Salinger (TCH)
1966 Budapest  Bodo Tümmler (FRG)  Michel Jazy (FRA)  Harald Norpoth (FRG)
1969 Athens  John Whetton (GBR)  Frank Murphy (IRL)  Henryk Szordykowski (POL)
1971 Helsinki  Francesco Arese (ITA)  Henryk Szordykowski (POL)  Brendan Foster (GBR)
1974 Rome  Klaus-Peter Justus (GDR)  Thomas Hansen (DEN)  Thomas Wessinghage (FRG)
1978 Prague  Steve Ovett (GBR)  Eamonn Coghlan (IRL)  David Moorcroft (GBR)
1982 Athens  Steve Cram (GBR)  Nikolay Kirov (URS)  José Manuel Abascal (ESP)
1986 Stuttgart  Steve Cram (GBR)  Sebastian Coe (GBR)  Han Kulker (NED)
1990 Split  Jens-Peter Herold (GDR)  Gennaro Di Napoli (ITA)  Mário Silva (POR)
1994 Helsinki  Fermín Cacho (ESP)  Isaac Viciosa (ESP)  Branko Zorko (CRO)
1998 Budapest  Reyes Estévez (ESP)  Rui Silva (POR)  Fermín Cacho (ESP)
2002 Munich  Mehdi Baala (FRA)  Reyes Estévez (ESP)  Rui Silva (POR)
2006 Gothenburg  Mehdi Baala (FRA)  Ivan Heshko (UKR)  Juan Carlos Higuero (ESP)
2010 Barcelona  Arturo Casado (ESP)  Carsten Schlangen (GER)  Manuel Olmedo (ESP)
2012 Helsinki  Henrik Ingebrigtsen (NOR)  Florian Carvalho (FRA)  David Bustos (ESP)
2014 Zürich  Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA)  Henrik Ingebrigtsen (NOR)  Chris O'Hare (GBR)


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1969 Athens  Jaroslava Jehličková (TCH)  Maria Gommers (NED)  Paola Pigni (ITA)
1971 Helsinki  Karin Burneleit (GDR)  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Ellen Tittel (FRG)
1974 Rome  Gunhild Hoffmeister (GDR)  Lilyana Tomova (BUL)  Grete Andersen (GDR)
1978 Prague  Giana Romanova (URS)  Natalia Marasescu (ROM)  Totka Petrova (BUL)
1982 Athens  Olga Dvirna (URS)  Zamira Zaytseva (URS)  Gabriella Dorio (ITA)
1986 Stuttgart  Ravilya Agletdinova (URS)  Tetyana Khamitova-Samolenko (URS)  Doina Besliu-Melinte (ROM)
1990 Split  Snežana Pajkić (YUG)  Ellen Kiessling (GDR)  Sandra Gasser (SUI)
1994 Helsinki  Lyudmila Rogachova (RUS)  Kelly Holmes (GBR)  Yekaterina Podkopayeva (RUS)
1998 Budapest  Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)  Carla Sacramento (POR)  Anita Weyermann (SUI)
2002 Munich  Süreyya Ayhan (TUR)  Gabriela Szabo (ROM)  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)
2006 Gothenburg  Tatyana Tomashova (RUS)  Yuliya Chizhenko (RUS)  Daniela Yordanova (BUL)
2010 Barcelona  Nuria Fernández (ESP)  Hind Dehiba (FRA)  Natalia Rodríguez (ESP)
2012 Helsinki  Aslı Çakır Alptekin (TUR)  Gamze Bulut (TUR)  Anna Mishchenko (UKR)
2014 Zürich  Sifan Hassan (NED)  Abeba Aregawi (SWE)  Laura Weightman (GBR)

Season's bests[edit]

As of July 5, 2015

  • "i" indicates performance on 200m indoor track

Other sports[edit]

1,500 metres is also an event in swimming and speed skating. The world records for the distance in swimming for men are 14:10.10 (swum in a 25-metre pool) swum by Grant Hackett; 14:31.02 (swum in a 50-metre pool) by Sun Yang, and by women 15:32.90 (swum in a 25-metre pool); 15:36.53 (swum in a 50-metre pool)[21] by Katie Ledecky.

The world records for the distance in speed skating are 1:41.04 by Shani Davis and 1:51.79 by Cindy Klassen.[22]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ 1500 m - Introduction. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-02-07.
  2. ^ iaaf.org - 0 Toplists M - O
  3. ^ "Scandal as controversial Chinese athlete Wang Junxia enters IAAF Hall of Fame". The Daily Telegraph (London). 9 March 2012. 
  4. ^ McCune R. R. (2011-07-11). Verzbicas Breaks Four. Lets Run. Retrieved on 2012-02-07.
  5. ^ http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/commonwealth-games/cwg-news/bayis-record-may-be-gone-but-it-should-never-be-forgotten.23308390
  6. ^ "1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Mike Rowbottom (18 July 2014). "Kiplagat shows his class with 3:27.64 in Monaco - IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Mike Rowbottom (19 July 2013). "Seven world leads on magical night in Monaco – IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "IAAF Diamond League - 1500m Results". www.diamondleague-monaco.com. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  13. ^ All time Women's 1500 metres. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-02-07.
  14. ^ "IAAF Diamond League Monaco - 1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "IAAF Diamond League Monaco - 1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "IAAF Diamond League Monaco - 1500m Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "1500 Metres Results". IAAF. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Larry Eder (19 July 2013). "Monaco Herculis : Asbel Kiprop runs 3:27.72, Mo Farah runs 3:28.81-video from Universal Sports!". www.runblogrun.com. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Mariem Alaoui Selsouli was banned from The Olympic games 2012 in London after testing positive for the diuretic furosemide, following her competition in Diamond League July 6, 2012 in Paris-Saint-Denis, with the result 3:56.15 min.
  20. ^ Mulvenney, Nick (25 July 2012). "UPDATE 1-Olympics-Athletics-Moroccan Selsouli tests positive". Reuters. 
  21. ^ http://deportes.elpais.com/deportes/2013/07/30/actualidad/1375198499_971165.html
  22. ^ "Current Speedskating World Records". Archived from the original on 2009-10-19. 

External links[edit]