Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

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Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Engenhão vista atrás do gol.jpg
Interior view of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, where the Men's 1500m took place.
VenueOlympic Stadium
Dates16 August 2016 (heats)
18 August 2016 (semi-final)
20 August 2016 (final)
Winning time3:50.00
1st, gold medalist(s) Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Nick Willis  New Zealand
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The men's 1500 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 16–20 August at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1]


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.[2][3]

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.[4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7]


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.[8] 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.[9]

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.

The medals were presented by Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC member, Morocco and Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF and 1980-4 double gold medalist in this event.


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
Time (s) Athlete Nation
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
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



Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Asbel Kiprop  Kenya 3:38.97 Q
2 Ryan Gregson  Australia 3:39.13 Q
3 Ayanleh Souleiman  Djibouti 3:39.25 Q
4 Chris O'Hare  Great Britain 3:39.26 Q
5 Matthew Centrowitz  United States 3:39.31 Q
6 Fouad Elkaam  Morocco 3:39.51 Q
7 David Bustos  Spain 3:39.73 q
8 Charles Philibert-Thiboutot  Canada 3:40.04 q
9 Julian Matthews  New Zealand 3:40.40
10 Florian Carvalho  France 3:41.87
11 Thiago André  Brazil 3:44.42
12 Santino Kenyi  South Sudan 3:45.27
13 Saud Al-Zaabi  United Arab Emirates 4:02.35
- Aman Wote  Ethiopia DNS

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria 3:46.82 Q
2 Elijah Motonei Manangoi  Kenya 3:46.83 Q
3 Robby Andrews  United States 3:46.97 Q
4 Nathan Brannen  Canada 3:47.07 Q
5 Mekonnen Gebremedhin  Ethiopia 3:47.33 Q
6 Brahim Kaazouzi  Morocco 3:47.39 Q
7 Homiyu Tesfaye  Germany 3:47.44 q
8 Hamish Carson  New Zealand 3:48.18
9 Adel Mechaal  Spain 3:48.41
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
Filip Ingebrigtsen  Norway DQ R163.2

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Jakub Holusa  Czech Republic 3:38.31 Q
2 Ronald Kwemoi  Kenya 3:38.33 Q
3 Abdalaati Iguider  Morocco 3:38.40 Q
4 Ronald Musagala  Uganda 3:38.45 Q
5 Henrik Ingebrigtsen  Norway 3:38.50 Q
6 Nicholas Willis  New Zealand 3:38.55 Q
7 Benson Kiplagat Seurei  Bahrain 3:38.82 q
8 Pieter-Jan Hannes  Belgium 3:38.89 q
9 Ben Blankenship  United States 3:38.92 q
10 Dawit Wolde  Ethiopia 3:39.29 q
11 Salim Keddar  Algeria 3:40.63
12 Luke Mathews  Australia 3:44.51
13 Ilham Tanui Ozbilen  Turkey 3:49.02
14 Mohammed Rageh  Yemen 3:58.99
15 Erick Rodríguez  Nicaragua 4:00.30


Semifinal 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Asbel Kiprop  Kenya 3:39.73 Q
2 Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria 3:39.88 Q
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
6 Abdalaati Iguider  Morocco 3:40.11 q
7 Nathan Brannen  Canada 3:40.20 q
8 Benson Kiplagat Seurei  Bahrain 3:40.53
9 Jakub Holusa  Czech Republic 3:40.83
10 Dawit Wolde  Ethiopia 3:41.42
11 Henrik Ingebrigtsen  Norway 3:42.51
12 Pieter-Jan Hannes  Belgium 3:43.71
13 Brahim Kaazouzi  Morocco 3:48.66

Semifinal 2[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Ronald Kwemoi  Kenya 3:39.42 Q
2 Ayanleh Souleiman  Djibouti 3:39.46 Q
3 Matthew Centrowitz  United States 3:39.61 Q
4 Ryan Gregson  Australia 3:40.02 Q
5 Ronald Musagala  Uganda 3:40.37 Q
6 Mekonnen Gebremedhin  Ethiopia 3:40.69
7 Homiyu Tesfaye  Germany 3:40.76
8 Charles Philibert-Thiboutot  Canada 3:40.79
9 Fouad Elkaam  Morocco 3:40.93
10 Chris O'Hare  Great Britain 3:44.27
11 David Bustos  Spain 3:56.54 q[a]
Robby Andrews  United States DQ R163.4[12]
Elijah Manangoi  Kenya DNS


Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.  United States 3:50.00
2nd, silver medalist(s) Taoufik Makhloufi  Algeria 3:50.11
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Nick Willis  New Zealand 3:50.24
4 Ayanleh Souleiman  Djibouti 3:50.29
5 Abdalaati Iguider  Morocco 3:50.58
6 Asbel Kiprop  Kenya 3:50.87
7 David Bustos  Spain 3:51.06
8 Ben Blankenship  United States 3:51.09
9 Ryan Gregson  Australia 3:51.39
10 Nathan Brannen  Canada 3:51.45
11 Ronald Musagala  Uganda 3:51.68
12 Charlie Grice  Great Britain 3:51.73
13 Ronald Kwemoi  Kenya 3:56.76


  1. ^ Bustos was given a place in the final after the video referee deemed he had been impeded by another competitor, by rule 163.2a.[11]


  1. ^ "Men's 1500m". Rio 2016 Organisation. Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ Minshull, Phil (2016-08-09). Preview: men's 1500m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-13.
  3. ^ senior outdoor 2016 1500 Metres men. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-13.
  4. ^ Minshull, Phil (2016-08-16). Report: men's 1500m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-20.
  5. ^ Waweru, Titus (2016-08-18). Kenya suffers blow as Elijah Manangoi sustains injury. Kenya Standard. Retrieved on 2016-08-20.
  6. ^ Minshull, Phil (2016-08-19). Report: men's 1500m semi-finals – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-20.
  7. ^ Giannotto, Mark (2016-08-19). University of Virginia’s Robby Andrews disqualified from men’s 1,500-meter race. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2016-08-20.
  8. ^ "Matthew Centrowitz ends U.S. drought in men's 1,500 meters". ESPN. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Matt Centrowitz Wins First Gold in 1,500 Meters for U.S. Since 1908". New York Times. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Noah Ngeny, Kenya". Confederation of African Athletes. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Athletics – Men's 1500m – Semifinals – Results" (PDF). Rio 2016. 18 August 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  12. ^ "IAAF: 1500 Metres Summary | The XXXI Olympic Games |".