Doha Men's 1500: After Collision, Silas Kiplagat Wins As Asbel Kiprop Finally Breaks 3:30

The Olympic Champ Kiprop Almost Gets Knocked Down With 100m Left But Still Manages To PR

By LetsRun.com
May 11, 2012

Editor's Note: A full meet recap is now up here.

If the first Diamond League 1500m is any indication track as to how the rest of the year is going to go, then field fans are in for a treat in 2012. The result itself was impressive enough with World silver medallist Silas Kiplagat triumphing over World and Olympic Champion Asbel Kiprop in 3:29.63 to 3:29.78, the first sub 3:30 clocking in the world since 2010, and a personal best for Kiprop. The result however does not do this race justice as it also included a collision between Kiplagat and Kiprop with 100m to go.

So to recap, the first race of the year was faster than any race of 2011, had a battle to the line between the World #1 and #2, had a collision between those two, and still resulted in the first sub 3:30 clocking ever for the Olympic champ. The race was so fast American Russell Brown finished in 12th place and still ran 3:34.11 well under the Olympic "A" standard of 3:35.50 (Editor's note: That result reminds of this thread: Steve Holman Once Ran 3:33.60 for 1500m and Finished 14th).

Viktor Kipchirchir did a good job with the pacemaking abilities taking it out in 55.41 with a slight gap on the field (56ish) . He continued on fairly even paced at 800 in 1:52.06 with the field in 1:53.

Nixon Chepseba, Silas Kiplagat and Asbel Kiprop had been near the front throughout. At the bell (2:36) Kiplagat had the lead. On the backstretch, Kiprop took the lead.

Coming around the final bend Kiprop led, with Kiplagat just behind him. Just as they were straightening up to begin the kick for home, Kiprop was clipped from behind. He stumbled, lost his momentum, and was forced


Screen Shot of Collision

outside, but he did not go down. However, it let Kiplagat go by and now Kiplagat was on the inside and in the lead. Kiprop regained his composure and challenged Kiplagat for the lead down the homestretch but Kiplagat had just enough to hold him off in 3:29.63 to 3:29.78. It was a 53.2 second last lap.

Kiprop and Kiplagat certainly showed why they are the World #1 and World #2. Behind them were three Kenyan compatriots with Bethwell Birgin setting a PB in 3:31.17, Nixon Chepseba in 3:31.32 and Collins Cheboi in 3:32.64. The first non-Kenyan was former Kenyan and world junior mile record holder Ilham Tanui Ozbilen in 6th.

Aussie star Ryan Gregson was buried in the field in 11th in 3:33.92 followed by American Russell Brown in a pb of 3:34.11. For them it was mission accomplished as the goal was the Olympic "A" standard of 3:35.50. Gregson will be on the Olympic team for Australia and now Brown will be if he is top 3 at the US Trials.

Behind them was the world's second best 800m runner Abubaker Kaki in 3:34.34. Kaki had run 3:31.76 last year and many were wondering if he'd soon make the 1,500 his primary event so this certainly was a disappointing performance for him.

Quick Take: Finally a sub 3:30 clocking for Asbel Kiprop. Kiprop had never broken 3:30, yet he did it in his first 1500 of the year, in a race where he almost got knocked down. Super impressive.

You cold tell that Kiprop really wanted to win this race, particularly after getting clipped, but at the same time he didn't look too upset once he realized he'd finally broken 3:30.

It's a good thing for the rest of the world there are only 3 Kenyans at the Olympics.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
3:29.63
WL
2
KEN
3:29.78
PB
3
KEN
3:31.17
PB
4
KEN
3:31.32
5
KEN
3:32.64
6
TUR
3:33.32
7
ETH
3:33.38
8
KEN
3:33.43
9
QAT
3:33.69
YB
10
KIPTOO Eliah
KEN
3:33.81
11
AUS
3:33.92
SB
12
USA
3:34.11
PB
13
SUD
3:34.34
14
ALG
3:42.88
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNS
Intermediate times:
400m Kipchirchir, Viktor (KEN) 55.41
800m Kipchirchir, Viktor (KEN) 1:52.06
1200m Kiplagat, Silas (KEN) 2:50.40

Editor's Note: A full meet recap is now up here.

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