Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Stadium
Dates20–24 August
Competitors43 from 29 nations
Winning time3:34.19
1st place, gold medalist(s) Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Bernard Lagat  Kenya
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Rui Silva  Portugal
← 2000
2008 →

The men's 1500 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from August 20 to 24.[1]

The first round comprised three heats with the first five gaining a direct qualification and then the next nine fastest across all heats progressing to the semifinals. The top five runners in each of the two semifinal heats moved on directly to the final, and they were immediately joined by the next two fastest from any of the semifinals.

World record holder Hicham El Guerrouj came into the race with a target on his back. Though El Guerrouj had won four straight World Championships, he had failed to win the previous Olympics, falling with a lap to go in his breakthrough year of 1996 and being beaten to the line in 2000 by the same Noah Ngeny who had chased El Guerrouj to the mile world record a year earlier. Ngeny was not back but bronze medalist Bernard Lagat was, seeking to finally beat El Guerrouj. Lagat had the potential assistance of two Kenyan teammates, but El Guerrouj also had his teammate Adil Kaouch make the final and Kaouch had previously sacrificed himself by acting as a pacesetter leading El Guerrouj to the 1999 and 2001 world titles. Because of the assistance, El Guerrouj's ability in a strategic race was suspect.

Off the line, the three Kenyan runners took the lead and formed a wall keeping the field behind as they slowed the pace; El Guerrouj could not run away from the start and the race would be strategic. With 500 metres to go, El Guerrouj worked his way to the front, with a line of kickers including Lagat, Reyes Estevez, Ivan Heshko and the unknown Mulugeta Wendimu lined up behind him. Down the backstretch, Lagat stayed a step behind El Guerrouj as other speedsters jockeyed for position and then fell back. From deep in the pack (dead last with less than 500 metres to go), Rui Silva was on the outside passing the others. Around the final turn, Lagat edged his way closer to El Guerrouj, pulling even just at the head of the stretch, with Silva gaining to just a step behind. By halfway down the home stretch, Lagat edged into the lead, but El Guerrouj did not go away, fighting back to take the win as Lagat gave up the fight a couple of steps before the line.[2][3] After clearly running the fastest last lap, Silva was unable to make any further headway, celebrating his bronze medal as he finished.

Four days later, El Guerrouj outsprinted 10000 metres gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele to take the 5000 metres gold medal and never competed internationally again, officially retiring in 2006.


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

World record  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3:26.00 Rome, Italy 14 July 1998
Olympic record  Noah Ngeny (KEN) 3:32.07 Sydney, Australia 29 September 2000

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 1500 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 3:36.20 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 3:38.00 or faster could be entered.


All times are Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)

Date Time Round
Friday, 20 August 2004 19:40 Round 1
Sunday, 22 August 2004 21:50 Semifinals
Tuesday, 24 August 2004 23:40 Final


Round 1[edit]

Qualification rule: The first five finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next nine fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the semifinals.[4]

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 3:37.86 Q
2 Rui Silva  Portugal 3:37.98 Q
3 Álvaro Fernández  Spain 3:38.34 Q
4 Kamal Boulahfane  Algeria 3:38.59 Q
5 Isaac Kiprono Songok  Kenya 3:38.89 Q
6 Kevin Sullivan  Canada 3:39.30 q
7 Michal Šneberger  Czech Republic 3:39.68 q
8 James Nolan  Ireland 3:41.14 q
9 Wolfram Müller  Germany 3:46.75
10 Mounir Yemmouni  France 3:51.08
11 Grant Robison  United States 3:53.66
12 Roberto Mandje  Equatorial Guinea 4:03.37 NR
Peter Roko Ashak  Sudan DNS

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Reyes Estévez  Spain 3:39.71 Q
2 Bernard Lagat  Kenya 3:39.80 Q
3 Nick Willis  New Zealand 3:39.80 Q
4 Adil Kaouch  Morocco 3:39.88 Q
5 Mulugeta Wendimu  Ethiopia 3:39.96 Q
6 Gert-Jan Liefers  Netherlands 3:40.10 q
7 Hudson de Souza  Brazil 3:40.78 q
8 Johan Cronje  South Africa 3:40.99 q
9 Alan Webb  United States 3:41.25
10 Aleksandr Krivchinkov  Russia 3:41.37
11 Abdulrahman Suleiman  Qatar 3:42.00
12 Mohamed Khaldi  Algeria 3:42.47
13 Mehdi Baala  France 3:46.06

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Michael East  Great Britain 3:37.37 Q
2 Timothy Kiptanui  Kenya 3:37.71 Q
3 Ivan Heshko  Ukraine 3:37.78 Q
4 Rashid Ramzi  Bahrain 3:37.93 Q
5 Tarek Boukensa  Algeria 3:37.94 Q
6 Juan Carlos Higuero  Spain 3:38.36 q
7 Youssef Baba  Morocco 3:38.71 q
8 Manuel Damião  Portugal 3:39.94 q
9 Charlie Gruber  United States 3:41.73
10 Branko Zorko  Croatia 3:48.28
11 Dou Zhaobo  China 3:50.28
12 Neil Weare  Guam 4:05.86
13 Jimmy Anak Ahar  Brunei 4:14.11
Samwel Mwera  Tanzania DNS


Qualification rule: The top five finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next two fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the final.[5]

Semifinal 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Adil Kaouch  Morocco 3:35.69 Q
2 Bernard Lagat  Kenya 3:35.84 Q
3 Gert-Jan Liefers  Netherlands 3:36.00 Q
4 Reyes Estévez  Spain 3:36.05 Q
5 Ivan Heshko  Ukraine 3:36.20 Q
6 Michael East  Great Britain 3:36.46 q
7 Isaac Kiprono Songok  Kenya 3:37.10 q
8 Manuel Damião  Portugal 3:37.16
9 Hudson de Souza  Brazil 3:38.83
10 James Nolan  Ireland 3:42.61
11 Rashid Ramzi  Bahrain 3:44.60
Tarek Boukensa  Algeria DNF

Semifinal 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 3:40.87 Q
2 Rui Silva  Portugal 3:40.99 Q
3 Timothy Kiptanui  Kenya 3:41.04 Q
4 Mulugeta Wendimu  Ethiopia 3:41.14 Q
5 Kamal Boulahfane  Algeria 3:41.27 Q
6 Nick Willis  New Zealand 3:41.46
7 Álvaro Fernández  Spain 3:42.01
8 Juan Carlos Higuero  Spain 3:42.13
9 Kevin Sullivan  Canada 3:42.86
10 Youssef Baba  Morocco 3:42.96
11 Johan Cronje  South Africa 3:44.41
12 Michal Šneberger  Czech Republic 3:47.03



Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 3:34.19
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Bernard Lagat  Kenya 3:34.30
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Rui Silva  Portugal 3:34.68
4 Timothy Kiptanui  Kenya 3:35.61
5 Ivan Heshko  Ukraine 3:35.82
6 Michael East  Great Britain 3:36.33
7 Reyes Estévez  Spain 3:36.63
8 Gert-Jan Liefers  Netherlands 3:37.17
9 Adil Kaouch  Morocco 3:38.26
10 Mulugeta Wendimu  Ethiopia 3:38.33
11 Kamal Boulahfane  Algeria 3:39.02
12 Isaac Kiprono Songok  Kenya 3:41.72


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Games: Men's 1500 metres". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  2. ^ Steve Cram (24 August 2004). "El Guerrouj's golden salvation". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  3. ^ McMullen, Paul (24 August 2004). "3rd time proves golden charm for El Guerrouj". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Heats". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Semifinals". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  6. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.

External links[edit]