Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres
|Men's 1500 metres|
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Interior view of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, where the Men's 1500m took place.
|Dates||16 August 2016 (heats)|
18 August 2016 (semi-final)
20 August 2016 (final)
Asbel Kiprop entered as the highest ranked athlete of the year with his run of 3:29.33 minutes, and was the gold medallist at the 2008 Olympics and the previous three World Championships in Athletics. In his race immediately prior to the Olympics, however, he had been beaten by his compatriot Ronald Kwemoi and Elijah Motonei Manangoi (second and third in the seasonal rankings). The reigning Olympic champion from 2012, Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, was fourth on the world lists, but faced the challenge of also running the 800 m which overlapped on the programme. The next highest ranked runners, Abdalaati Iguider and Ayanleh Souleiman, also entered for doubles.
In the first round the main protagonists progressed, although a notable elimination was reigning European champion Filip Ingebrigtsen, who was disqualified for impeding Charlie Grice and Homiyu Tesfaye (both runners were advanced as a result). İlham Tanui Özbilen of Turkey (a 2012 World Indoor medallist) was knocked out, having shown poor form that year. Jakub Holuša of the Czech Republic was fastest in the heats with 3:38.31 minutes, leading a race which saw ten men run under 3:40.
Although the semi-finals produced slower times, heats leader Holuša was among those eliminated. Former European champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen and reigning African Games champion Mekonnen Gebremedhin also failed to make the final and Kenya's Elijah Manangoi did not start after suffering a hamstring injury. The two remaining Kenyans, Kiprop and Kwemoi won the two semi-final races. American Robby Andrews initially made the grade, with his typical fast finish, but as he made his way on the inside, he initially tried to take open space between Gebremedhin and the rail, but Gebremedhin defended his position and Andrews had nowhere to go except inside the rail, where he executed the pass to get into the final qualifying spot. He was later disqualified for stepping off the track.
Off the start, nobody wanted the lead, the role was defaulted to Americans Matthew Centrowitz and Ben Blankenship sandwiching David Bustos. Kickers Asbel Kiprop, Taoufik Makhloufi and Ayanleh Souleiman went to the back. The first lap was 66.83, a virtual crawl for these athletes. During the second lap, Nick Willis drifted to the front to replace Blankenship next to Bustos and Centrowitz. On the homestretch, Kiprop moved out to lane 2 and loped up toward the front. Reacting, Ronald Kwemoi crashed to the track as Souleiman was drifting out to find some running room at the back of the pack and Kwemoi caught Souleiman's back kick. The pace was so slow, Kwemoi caught back up to the runners in less than 100 metres. The second lap was even slower in 69.76. Down the next backstretch, Kiprop moved aggressively to challenge Centrowitz at the front, but Centrowitz wouldn't let him by, holding his position on the curb. Behind him Willis and Blankenship were getting tangled up in a similar situation. Coming around the turn, Souleiman tried to pass again and was successful, taking the lead position on the home stretch. Instead of charging away, Souleiman slowed down. Centrowitz took the small gap next to the rail and squeezed through, deftly slipping his elbow and shoulder in front of Souleman. Just at the bell Makhloufi hit the front outside of Centrowitz. But on the penultimate turn Centrowitz would not let Makhloufi by holding the inside and the lead. Makhloufi fell in behind Centrowitz. Along the backstretch, Kiprop loped to the front again. Centrowitz held him off, making him run to the outside of the turn. Behind Kiprop, then lining up beside him, Abdalaati Iguider, Kiprop and Makhloufi, behind them Willis and Souleman, all ready to pounce coming off the turn. Kiprop made his move, then began to tread water moving backwards instead of gaining. On the outside Makhloufi was gaining but was running out of real estate. Iguider was moving backward with Kiprop, Willis beat Souleman to the pounce and was chasing Makhloufi. Nobody passed Centrowitz as he kept his advantage all the way across the finish line. Makhloufi was a meter back for silver, Willis another meter back holding off a diving Souleman at the line for bronze.
The winning time of 3:50.00 was the slowest since 1932. Centrowitz became the first American to win the event since Mel Sheppard in 1908. For over a century, the United States has sent their best to run the Olympic 1500; Kiviat, Cunningham, McMillen, Burleson, Ryun, Scott, not to mentioned Leo Manzano (took a silver medal and was not sponsored after that, shame) , and finally Lagat. Some have won medals, but none won gold.
Prior to this 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|
|Africa (records)||3:26.00 WR||Hicham El Guerrouj||Morocco|
|Asia (records)||3:29.14||Rashid Ramzi||Bahrain|
|Europe (records)||3:28.81||Mo Farah||Great Britain|
|North, Central America
and Caribbean (records)
|3:29.30||Bernard Lagat||United States|
|Oceania (records)||3.29.66||Nick Willis||New Zealand|
|South America (records)||3:33.25||Hudson de Souza||Brazil|
|4||Chris O'Hare||Great Britain||3:39.26||Q|
|5||Matthew Centrowitz||United States||3:39.31||Q|
|9||Julian Matthews||New Zealand||3:40.40|
|12||Santino Kenyi||South Sudan||3:45.27|
|13||Saud Al-Zaabi||United Arab Emirates||4:02.35|
|2||Elijah Motonei Manangoi||Kenya||3:46.83||Q|
|3||Robby Andrews||United States||3:46.97||Q|
|8||Hamish Carson||New Zealand||3:48.18|
|10||Charlie Grice||Great Britain||3:48.51||q|
|11||Paulo Lokoro||Refugee Olympic Team||4:03.96|
|12||Augusto Soares||East Timor||4:11.35||PB|
|–||Abdi Waiss Mouhyadin||Djibouti||DNF|
|1||Jakub Holusa||Czech Republic||3:38.31||Q|
|6||Nicholas Willis||New Zealand||3:38.55||Q|
|7||Benson Kiplagat Seurei||Bahrain||3:38.82||q|
|9||Ben Blankenship||United States||3:38.92||q|
|13||Ilham Tanui Ozbilen||Turkey||3:49.02|
|3||Nicholas Willis||New Zealand||3:39.96||Q|
|4||Ben Blankenship||United States||3:39.99||Q|
|5||Charlie Grice||Great Britain||3:40.05||Q|
|8||Benson Kiplagat Seurei||Bahrain||3:40.53|
|9||Jakub Holusa||Czech Republic||3:40.83|
|3||Matthew Centrowitz||United States||3:39.61||Q|
|10||Chris O'Hare||Great Britain||3:44.27|
|–||Robby Andrews||United States||DQ||R163.4|
|Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.||United States||3:50.00|
|Nick Willis||New Zealand||3:50.24|
|8||Ben Blankenship||United States||3:51.09|
|12||Charlie Grice||Great Britain||3:51.73|
- Bustos was given a place in the final after the video referee deemed he had been impeded by another competitor, by rule 163.2a.
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