Duane Solomon Looks Like A 1:43.44 Guy As He Dominates His Heat as He and Nick Symmonds Advance To The Semis

By LetsRun.com
London, UK
August 6, 2012

Editor's note: We didn't have a preview of the men's 800 prior to the first round as we were going to wait and preview it before the final. With seven heats of eight, the top three in each heat plus three time qualifiers advanced to the semis. And in the semis, it's even harder as it's just the top two and next two fastest.

We recap the first round for you below. In a separate piece, we catch up with the three American participants: LRC The Americans React - Nick Symmonds & Duane Solomon Are Still Dreaming of Medals As The 36- Year Old Khadevis Robinson Fails To Make Final Yet Again

The men's 800 first round got under way in stunning fashion on Monday. As you've probably already read about in a separate article, the big news ultimately was that Taoufik Makhloufi of Algegia, who on Sunday had suddenly became the favorite for the 1500m final after dominating his semifinal in such a fashion that stunned former world record holder Steve Cram yesterday, was disqualified from the 800m and kicked out the Olympic 1500m final, after being deemed to not have given an honest effort in the first round of the 800m. Update: Makhloufi has won his appeal and been put into the 1500m final.

Makhloufi, who had the ninth best seasonal best of all the 800 entrants, didn't scratch himself from the 800 when the fields were set on Sunday before the 1500 semis were run. As a result, he started heat number five. He ran around the first turn in his lane, then immediately cut into lane one, jogged down the backstretch in last place for 200m, and then stepped off the track before cheering on his training mate and then ultimately getting DQd.

In addition to, Makhloufi's departure, there was another high profile departure and two other near misses.

The one returning finalist from four years ago in Beijing in silver medallist Ahmad Ismail of the Sudan, who had been struggling all season, didn't advance. Last year's fourth placer in Marcin Lewandowski of Poland didn't qualify on the track but ultimately got in on appeal. And 2004 Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakoviskiy only finished fifth in his heat but was lucky to squeeze by as the third and final qualifier at 1:46.29.

Besides Makhloufi, the top casualty based on 2012 seed times was #15 seed Jeff Riseley of Australia. The 16th seed in US runner-up Khadevis Robinson also didn't advance but the other two Americans Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon both did advance as heat winners. Solomon, who in his last race had lowered his PB from 1:44.65 to 1:43.44 to become the 5th fastest American ever, was very impressive in the last heat and arguably was the most impressive runner on the night behind the world record holder David Rudisha. He looked really, really good.

More details below.

Heat 1

After the world junior championships, there was some talk that world junior champion Nijel Amo  of Botswana was nursing an injury. Amos, who comes into the Olymipcs at just age 18 seeded #2 at 1:43.11, didn't look injured as he got the heat win. US runner-up Khadevis Robinson was sixth at the bell. He ran most of the last lap in lane two as he followed last year's fourth placer Marcin Lewandowski for most of the final lap. Coming into the final 100, it was a five man battle for the third auto qualifying spot as Spain's Luis Alberto Marco was fading. However, the only man who was able to pass him was Kuwait's Mohammad Al-Azemi. Al Azcemi was sixth entering the homestretch but came up the inside to finish third with Marco fourth in 1:46.86. Robinson passed Lewandowski to finish fifth in 1:47.17, as the pole ran 1:47.64 in sixth.

After the race, Lewandowski must have appealed and Al-Azemi was DQ'd and everyone was moved up a spot, plus Lewandowski was added to the semifinals as the 25th entrant. We've watched the race replay five times and see no foul but others have told us they see it. All we say was a tiny bit of contact with about 80 meters remaining as Al-Azemi, Lewandowski and Robinson were side by side but nothing we could see that would warrant a DQ.

Here is the IAAF's statement on the DQ:

The Referee disqualified Kuwaiti athlete Mohammad AL-AZEMI (bib number
2380), who had crossed the finish line in third position, under Rule
163.2 (Obstruction).

The Referee also decided to advance Polish runner Marcin LEWANDOWSKI
(bib number 2658) to the next round, considering that he was pushed by
AL-AZEMI and lost his pace.

QT #1: It's hard to imagine the 36-year old Robinson could make the team in 2016. We've always found him to be one of the best interviews on the circuit and he'll be missed when he hangs up them up for good. We caught up with him and the other two Americans after the race and have it for you here: LRC The Americans React - Nick Symmonds & Duane Solomon Are Still Dreaming of Medals As The 36- Year Old Khadevis Robinson Fails To Make Final Yet Again

QT# 2: The 800 really needs to have either fewer entrants or four rounds. Going from 56 to 24 here is hard enough but going fro 24 to 8 in the semi is even harder. From what we've seen, Lewandowki's advancement was unwarranted and now they are gong to have 25 in the semis. What is the IAAF going to do - make someone share a lane? (Answer yes, see the link to the Americans article). A foul didn't cause Lewandowki to finish sixth initially - poor form did. He was only 7th in Monaco in his last race.

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 8 1211 Nijel Amos BOT 1:45.90 Q .
2 9 1230 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 1:46.29 Q .
3 7 1624 Luis Alberto Marco ESP 1:46.86 Q .
4 5 3248 Khadevis Robinson USA 1:47.17 .
5 2 2658 Marcin Lewandowski POL 1:47.64 q .
6 3 2837 Ivan Tukhtachev RUS 1:49.77 .
7 6 2022 Derek Mandell GUM 1:58.94 .
. 4 2380 Mohammad Al-Azemi KUW DQ .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 1230 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 52.68
600m 1230 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 1:19.93

Heat 2

World record holder David Rudisha was in control throughout as he pulled away from everyone over the last 250. Brit Andrew Osiage rallied to get third at the line.

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 7 2319 David Lekuta Rudisha KEN 1:45.90 Q .
2 8 2754 Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla QAT 1:46.37 Q .
3 4 1827 Andrew Osagie GBR 1:46.42 Q .
4 6 2748 Wesley Vazquez PUR 1:46.45 .
5 9 1056 Jeffrey Riseley AUS 1:46.99 .
6 5 2966 Ismail Ahmed Ismail SUD 1:48.79 .
7 2 1157 Anis Ananenka BLR 1:49.61 .
8 3 1277 Samorn Kieng CAM 1:55.26 (SB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 2319 David Lekuta Rudisha KEN 52.70
600m 2319 David Lekuta Rudisha KEN 1:20.32

Heat 3

Last year's silver medallist Abubaker Kaki hadn't looked good in his last two races but he looked fine here getting the heat win in a heat he led from start to finish as 17-year old Kenyan Timonty Kitum was second.

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 6 2967 Abubaker Kaki SUD 1:45.51 Q .
2 9 2306 Timothy Kitum KEN 1:45.72 Q .
3 5 2375 Abdulaziz Ladan Mohammed KSA 1:46.09 Q .
4 7 1471 Andy González CUB 1:46.24 q .
5 3 1841 Gareth Warburton GBR 1:46.97 .
6 4 2043 Tamás Kazi HUN 1:47.10 (SB)
7 2 1914 Sören Ludolph GER 1:48.57 .
8 8 3342 Arnold Sorina VAN 1:54.29 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 2967 Abubaker Kaki SUD 52.18
600m 2967 Abubaker Kaki SUD 1:19.48

Heat 4

Nick Symmonds got the heat win in a heat where the top four were nearly in a blanket finish. The auto qualifying sport for Symmonds, who was fourth at the bell, was never in serious jeopardy but it was tight. 2004 Olympic champ Yuriy Brozakovskiy didn't have his patented late surge as he only finished fifth. But he'd get lucky and make the final as no fourth placer in the final three heats ran faster than his 1:46.29.

Symmonds had some good quotes after the race: LRC: The Americans React - Nick Symmonds & Duane Solomon Are Still Dreaming of Medals As The 36- Year Old Khadevis Robinson Fails To Make Final Yet Again

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 5 3254 Nick Symmonds USA 1:45.91 Q .
2 4 1290 Geoffrey Harris CAN 1:45.97 Q (PB)
3 9 2655 Adam Kszczot POL 1:45.99 Q .
4 6 1745 Pierre-Ambroise Bosse FRA 1:46.03 q .
5 7 2803 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1:46.29 q .
6 2 1546 Andreas Bube DEN 1:46.40 .
7 3 1014 Manuel António ANG 1:52.54 .
. 8 2527 Brice Etes MON DQ .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 1546 Andreas Bube DEN 52.53
600m 2655 Adam Kszczot POL 1:19.69

Heat 5

The big news was that 1500 semi winner Taoufik Makhloufi didn't scratch himself from the 800 and started in lane #7. But he didn't put forth much of an effort and the IAAF DQd him. Update here

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 4 1588 Hamada Mohamed EGY 1:48.05 Q .
2 8 2085 Sajad Moradi IRI 1:48.23 Q .
3 3 1622 Kevin López ESP 1:48.27 Q .
4 6 2245 Masato Yokota JPN 1:48.48 .
5 9 1830 Michael Rimmer GBR 1:49.05 .
6 2 2521 Moussa Camara MLI 1:51.36 .
7 5 2539 Edgar Cortez NCA 1:58.99 .
. 7 1008 Taoufik Makhloufi ALG DQ .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 1830 Michael Rimmer GBR 55.49
600m 1588 Hamada Mohamed EGY 1:22.19

Heat 6

In the battle of teen prodigies, 18-year old Mo Aman, who beat David Rudisha last year before winning World Indoors, got the heat win here as Kenya's 19-year old, Anthony Chemut, got second.

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 2 1678 Mohammed Aman ETH 1:47.34 Q .
2 4 2293 Anthony Chemut KEN 1:47.42 Q .
3 5 1634 Antonio Manuel Reina ESP 1:47.44 Q .
4 9 1420 Rafith Rodríguez COL 1:47.70 .
5 3 2115 Adnan Taess Akkar IRQ 1:47.83 (SB)
6 6 2454 Amine El Manaoui MAR 1:48.48 .
7 7 3364 Prince Mumba ZAM 1:49.07 .
8 8 2346 Erzhan Askarov KGZ 1:59.56 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 2293 Anthony Chemut KEN 53.44
600m 2293 Anthony Chemut KEN 1:20.93

Heat 7

Duane Solomon looked like a 1:43.44 guy in this heat as he led from start to finish. After going through 400 in 50.36, Solomon opened up a 4-5 meter gap on the field by 600 (1:17.59) and then cruised in for the heat 1.

QT #1: Solomon looked far from being a one-hit wonder here. Making the final and possibly a medal are real possibilities now for the guy who is the third fastest this year of all the entrants in London. We talked to him about his medal chances after the race: LRC: The Americans React - Nick Symmonds & Duane Solomon Are Still Dreaming of Medals As The 36- Year Old Khadevis Robinson Fails To Make Final Yet Again

QT #2: Below the heat 7 results, we've pasted in the 2008 Olympic 800 results to show you how it's a new era with a ton of young talent.

 

Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 5 3252 Duane Solomon USA 1:46.05 Q .
2 8 2545 Robert Lathouwers NED 1:46.06 Q .
3 6 2789 André Olivier RSA 1:46.42 Q .
4 9 1516 Jakub Holuša CZE 1:46.87 .
5 4 3116 Julius Mutekanga UGA 1:48.41 .
6 2 2027 Moise Joseph HAI 1:48.46 .
7 7 1888 Benjamín Enzema GEQ 1:57.47 .
. 3 1221 Kleberson Davide BRA DNS .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
400m 3252 Duane Solomon USA 50.36
600m 3252 Duane Solomon USA 1:17.59

2008 Olympic 800 Final Results

800 m 23 August  
1 Wilfred Bungei KEN 24 Jul 80 1:44.65  
2 Ahmad Ismail SUD 10 Sep 84 1:44.70  
3 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN 28 Nov 86 1:44.82  
4 Gary Reed CAN 25 Oct 81 1:44.94  
5 Youssef Saad Kamel BRN 29 Mar 81 1:44.95  
6 Yeimer López CUB 20 Aug 82 1:45.88  
7 Nabil Madi ALG 9 Jun 81 1:45.96  
8 Nadim Mansour ALG 8 Jun 88 1:47.19

More LRC The Americans React - Nick Symmonds & Duane Solomon Are Still Dreaming of Medals As The 36- Year Old Khadevis Robinson Fails To Make Final Yet Again


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