Men’s 1500m Semifinal: Matt Centrowitz Advances, Leo Manzano Out: Results and 6 Quick Takes

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August 16, 2013

Moscow, Russia – 6 quick takes on the men’s 1500m semifinals that saw the favorites Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat advance along with 2011 bronze medallist American Matt Centrowitz. Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano went out as he was last with 200m to go in his heat and could not move up enough.

Update. We’ve added in a few more quick takes to bering it to a total of 8.

Top 5 in each heat plus next 2 advanced on time

1) Position is very important (with 200m to go)
Americans Matt Centrowitz and Leo Manzano were both near last with 300m to go.

Centro used the next straight away to move up. Unfortunately, Leo was still in last with 200m to go, and then as a result, faced a nearly impossible task- passing the majority of the field already spotting them say 7 meters (difference between lat and first) and then giving up another 5 meters more by having to move into lane 2. Asbel Kiprop could probably do that. Good luck to anyone else.

Leo is usually very good tactical in slow races. Not tonight. He said afterwards perhaps he might have been too confident in his tactics. He said he tried moving up on one occassion earlier but it didn’t work. In a slow race such as Leo’s position is even more important.

2) Asbel Kiprop mentioned Centro as his #2 rival.
We asked Kiprop about his rivals and he mentioned Silas Kiplagat as first and then Matt Centrowitz as second. Centro is a tremendous championship racer and Kiprop knows that. Centro showed that savvy today. Afterwards Centro said he has confidence from his past success and is ready to challenge for the podium. He knows he doesn’t want to have to move up from last with 300 to go, but he made the move with 300 to go and looked like he had been perfectly positioned the entire race the last 100.

3) Lopez Lomong was really upbeat
Lopez did not make the final but he was far from down about his season. He said he was just nipped out here and was very surprisingly upbeat in the mixed zone. He will still run a 5k in Brussels. He said the 1500 running this year is designed to help him long term in the 5000.

4) Olympic 800m bronze medallist Ayanleh Souleiman went out
Souleiman was 11th in heat #2.
Well have to look at the tape to see what happened but we asked Souleiman what happened and with a scowl on his face he simulated someone pushing another runner.

5) Zakaria Mazouzi is out
The Moroccan who improved a ton this year didn’t advance. We had wondered if his rise this year was too good to be true. Thankfully, we won’t have to consider that question as he came down to earth today.

6) Nate Brannen and Chris O’Hare Advanced
Only one American made the final but two former NCAA stars advanced in Brannen and O’Hare. It will be the first final for both. Class act Nick Willis who went out in semi #1 talked about how he was happy to see his former collegiate teammate Brannen advance.

7) Speaking of Willis, he was much better today than in the first round.
He said he felt a “million times” better today than he did in the first round. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get him in the final. However, he was proud of how he competed relative to his fitness and said today’s result gave him confidence he should continue to race this season, rather than calling it a season.

Willis injured his calf earlier this summer and said he wasn’t able to run for four full weeks. He said he really wasn’t able to cross train very well either during that time except for swimming with only his arms as any sort of calf contraction say running in the pool or biking was out of the question. He said he did his first workout after the injury the day before his son was born six weeks ago and at that point wasn’t even sure if he should come to Worlds. A 2:53 1200 time trial gave him the confidence is was worth coming.

8) There is no day off between the semis and final.
One other thing Asbel Kiprop mentioned after the race is he was glad he was in a slow heat. He said he really wanted to conserve energy as there is no day off between the semis and the finals. The final is on Saturday.

Heat 1: Kiprop Impreses, Leo and Lopez Out

The pace was slow in this one.

9Bouabdellah TAHRIFRANCE FRA3:44.24
12Valentin SMIRNOVRUSSIA RUS3:46.03
400mValentin SMIRNOVRUSSIA RUS1:02.74
800mValentin SMIRNOVRUSSIA RUS2:06.79
1200mAsbel KIPROPKENYA KEN3:04.43

Heat 2: Centro Advances
Centro moved up from the back with 300m to go.

1Nixon Kiplimo CHEPSEBAKENYA KEN3:35.88 Q
9Ilham Tanui ÖZBILENTURKEY TUR3:37.07
10Bethwell BIRGENKENYA KEN3:37.34
12Abdalaati IGUIDERMOROCCO MAR3:44.36
400mBethwell BIRGENKENYA KEN55.88
800mNixon Kiplimo CHEPSEBAKENYA KEN1:57.06
1200mNixon Kiplimo CHEPSEBAKENYA KEN2:54.47

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