© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated
During the men’s 1500-metre semi-final in Doha, the top five finishers in each of the two heats move on, as do the next two fastest overall. As it happened, all 12 qualifying athletes ran 3:36.
The fastest was Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, clocking a 3:36.50. The slowest was Jake Wightman of Great Britain who finished at 3:36.85. An extension of milliseconds is used when athletes tie to the thousandth. Five of the 12 virtually tied – it was that close. Each athlete was running only fast enough to move on.
Lewandowski set a new national record on August 24 this year, finishing in the time of 3:31.95 at the Stade Charléty in Paris.
Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi finished second to Lewandowski (3:36.53); however, he has run as fast as 3:28.81, but back in 2014. It’s been a long time, but he can’t be counted out. Norway’s Jakob Ingebrightsen finished third (3:36.58).
In heat #1, Timothy Cheruiyot, ran as fast as he needed to move on, taking the win in 3:36.53. Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria finished second, while Neil Gourley of Great Britain virtually tied as did American Craig Engels. The final qualifier was Kalle Berglund of Sweden (3:36.72).
The final goes Sunday at 9:40 am PST, 12:40 pm EST and 8:40 pm GMT.
Canada’s Sage Watson had to set a new national 400m hurdles record just to make the finals that were run on Day 6 in Doha. She moved on with a 54.32, two days prior. Friday, the race was so fast that American Dalilah Muhammad set a new world record with her performance of 53.16. Fellow American Sydney McLaughlin finished second also bettering the previous world record with her 52.23. Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton set a new personal best for third at 53.74.
Lea Sprunger of Switzerland set a new national record just to finish fourth (54.06).
The previous world record was set 16 years prior on Aug. 8, 2003, by Russian Yuliya Pechonkina at 53.34.
Similarly, the men’s 3,000m steeplechase required a world lead for 2019 of 8:01.35 by Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto as well as an Ethiopian national record of 8:01.36 for second-place Lamecha Girma to settle the score. The next three athletes ran either personal or seasonal bests including bronze medallist Souduane El Bakkali who finished in 8:03.76.