Olympic Champ Taoufik Makhloufi Comes Up Short In Quest For World Lead - Wins 1,500 in Zagreb in 3:32.53

Andrew Wheatings Struggles in 1,500 as Maggie Vessey Picks Up 800 Win and Brenda Martinez Gets A Big PR

*Full Results

By LetsRun.com
September 4, 2012

2012 Olympic 1,500 champion Taoufik Makhloufi's quest for a 2012 seasonal best and possible world leader came up well short in Zagreb this evening although Makhloufi did end up with a comfortable win in 3:32.57 - the second best time on the season & career (3:32.94 was his previous best coming into the year, he ran 3:30.80 in Monaco).

With American Matt Scherer helping serve as one of two rabbits for 700 + meters (the second rabbit went 1200), Makloufi went through 400 in 54 low to mid (leader was 54.01 - Makhloufi was in third) and 800 in 1:50.6 to 1:50.8. But the pace slowed on the third lap as Makhloufi hit 1200 in 250.01 - well off of the 2:48 he desired and would need if he'd have any chance for a world lead (3:28.88).

But Makhloufi had already gapped the field and was never challenged coming home. The gap didn't really increase by much but this was a comfortable win. Kenya's James Magut - who was sixth at the Kenyan Trials this year - was best of the rest in 3:33.31 as he edged out Daniel Kipchirir Komen (3:33.39).

2008 and 2012 US Olympian Andrew Wheating, who had tweeted before the race he was excited to be in race that was supposed to go out in 2:48, to his credit, went for it early. He settled in just two spots behind Makhloufi - in fifth - at the start, but by the time the runner's started to approach the bell, he had started to fade in the wrong direction. He had little on the last lap and ended up third to last (12th) in 3:40.22 - only ahead of two guys who didn't break 3:50.

Women' 800
In a thrilling women's 800, American Maggie Vessey ran aggressively throughout and got both a win and seasonal's best in the 800 as she held off a fast charging Brenda Martinez who ended up with a big new personal best.

The rabbit went through 400 in 58.33 and it seemed coming home that Vessey was going to get a nice victory after having stalked the 4th placer at the Russian Trials, Elena Kofanova (who ran 1:57.77 at the Russian Trials), for much of the race. Kofanova finally cracked late and faded to fourth (2:00.05). But as the top three women in the field were battling it out, Martinez was coming up from way back with a monster close. Suddenly out of nowhere, at the line, Martinez was right there with Vessey. Who had won?

Vessey. Her time was 1:59.61 to Martinez's 1:59.63. Martinez, who had a smile on her face after finishing probably, wasn't too upset as she has scored a massive 1.22 pb (her 2:00.85 pb had come in 2009). Just two days ago, Martinez had raced an 800 in Padova where Kofanova won in 2:00.93 and Martinez had only run 2:02.79 for seventh.

Men's 400
The fourth placer in the Olympic 800, Duane Solomon, ran 46.39 in the open 400. His 400 pr is 45.98 from May of this year. That's pretty quick for a guy who ran 4:15 in the 1600 in HS. Results for the 400, 800 and 1500 appear below.

Full results are worth checking out as well as Americans Ryan Bailey and Carmelita Jeter picked up wins in the 100s, Allyson Felix won the 200, four Kenyans broke 8:15 in the steeple, and more.

More: MB: *Wheating 1500.. Billed at 2:48 thru 1200 *2012 Olympic Champ Taoufik Makhloufi Is Racing Tuesday & Wants 2:48 for 1200 and Is Going For 2012 World Lead - Will He Get It? *DANIEL KOMEN on the 1500m startlist of Zagreb IAAF Meeting!!

Official Results - Men - 400 Metres

Pos Athlete Nat Mark
1 Martyn Rooney GBR 45.78
2 Marcin Marciniszyn POL 46.22
3 Duane Solomon USA 46.39
4 Kacper Kozlowski POL 46.95
5 Mateo Ružic CRO 47.72

Official Results - Women - 800 Metres

Pos Athlete Nat Mark
1 Maggie Vessey USA 1:59.61
2 Brenda Martinez USA 1:59.63
3 Winny Chebet KEN 1:59.85
4 Elena Kofanova RUS 2:00.05
5 Diane Cummins CAN 2:00.55
6 Angelika Cichocka POL 2:01.32
7 Karine Belleau-Béliveau CAN 2:02.99
Denisa Rosolová CZE DNF

Official Results - Men - 1500 Metres

Pos Athlete Nat Mark
1 Taoufik Makhloufi ALG 3:32.58
2 James Kiplagat Magut KEN 3:33.31
3 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 3:33.39
4 Collins Cheboi KEN 3:34.39
5 Gideon Mwangi Gathimba KEN 3:34.52
6 Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku KEN 3:34.66
7 Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich KEN 3:36.15
8 Cornelius Ndiwa KEN 3:36.29
9 Hamza Driouch QAT 3:36.58
10 Yoann Kowal FRA 3:38.30
11 Reuben Bett KEN 3:39.82
12 Andrew Wheating USA 3:40.22
13 Jan Petrac SLO 3:50.97
14 Stefan Breit SUI 3:54.33
Matthew Scherer USA DNF
Benson Seurei KEN DNF

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