Asbel Kiprop Puts On An Exhibition In Monaco 1500, Running 3:26.69 To Destroy Field And Become Third-Fastest Man In History

July 17, 2015

Many of the world’s best 1500m runners descended upon Monaco on Friday and nearly all of them brought their “A” game with 10 of the top 12 setting lifetime bests. However, one man was head and shoulders above everyone else. Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop put on a running exhibition of sublime beauty as he absolutely crushed the field, winning by over two seconds in 3:26.69, to become the third-fastest human being ever at 1500. 2012 Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi joined the sub-3:30 club in second in 3:28.75, Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider become one of the top 10 fastest of all time in 3rd in 3:28.79, Mo Farah ran 3:28 (3:28.93) for the second time in Monaco in 4th, Nick Willis lowered his Kiwi record to 3:29.66, and Kenyan newcomer Elijah Manangoi chopped 5 seconds off his personal best to join the sub-3:30 club in his first Diamond League race. American Matt Centrowitz was well beaten in 10th, but left with a 3:30.40 pr, a time that makes him the fastest American-born runner in history (and #3 American overall).

1500 meter running at it's finest 1500 meter running at its finest

The Race:

This race was all Kiprop. The last two years in Monaco he showed himself to be the only runner in the field to not be afraid to go with the rabbits and it was no different this year. The two rabbits, Andrew Rotich and Jackson Kivuva, took out the opening 400m in 53.72 and Kiprop was with them with a gap back to Mo Farah. The same five-meter gap was there at 800 as Kivuva hit 800 in 1:50.37. Kiprop then began to take over. He followed Kivuva onto the homestretch and then Kivuva drifted wide letting Kiprop know he was all alone. Kiprop hit 1100 in just under 2:32 and the closest challenger was Farah in about 2:33.5 as 10 guys came through under 2:45.

1500 Metres - Men - Results                                            

    1 Kiprop , Asbel                   KEN    3:26.69                   
    2 Makhloufi , Taoufik              ALG    3:28.75                   
    3 Iguider , Abdalaati              MAR    3:28.79                   
    4 Farah , Mohamed                  GBR    3:28.93                   
    5 Willis , Nicholas                NZL    3:29.66                   
    6 Manangoi , Elijah Motonei        KEN    3:29.67                   
    7 Biwott , Robert Kiptoo           KEN    3:30.10                   
    8 Wote , Aman                      ETH    3:30.29                   
    9 Cheboi , Collins                 KEN    3:30.34                   
   10 Centrowitz , Matthew             USA    3:30.40                   
   11 Amdouni , Morhad                 FRA    3:34.05                   
   12 Philibert-Thiboutot , Charles    CAN    3:34.23                   
   13 Manzano , Leonel                 USA    3:36.16
   14 Ingebrigtsen , Henrik            NOR    3:38.35
      Kivuva , Jackson Mumbwa          KEN        DNF                   
      Rotich , Andrew Kiptoo           KEN        DNF

Kiprop did not come back to the field like he did last year in Monaco. He ran away from them on the final lap. It was him versus the clock and he stopped it at 3:26.69. There was a three-way battle for second and Makhloufi finished just ahead of Iguider and Farah. Nick Willis just edged Manangoi for a top-5 spot. The top 10 were well clear of the rest of the field. Matt Centrowitz was last in the group and he still left with a .69 of a second pr.

Quick takes below.

Quick Take #1: Kiprop is King
Silas Kiplagat was not here today and Ayanleh Souleiman was running the 800, but Kiprop showed when he brings his “A” game, he is the king of the 1500m. Nearly all the top guys set lifetime bests and this race wasn’t even close. You know the phrase – “A man among boys.” Well this was “A giant among men.”

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Two guys both ran 3:28 in this race and yet look how far back everyone was.

Utter domination Utter domination

QT #2: The Other Runners Knew How Special This Run Was
It was nice to see the guys who were beaten by Kiprop go up and give him big hugs with big smiles afterwards. They were no doubt happy with their lifetime bests and also acknowledged at the same time they were beaten by a better runner. Running for most of us is a battle against the clock first and other competitors second and for the field today that was largely the case. If you run a lifetime PR and get beat badly, it is alright to have a smile on your face and tip your cap to the better runner. It was quite a sight to see after the race.

There is a great post by “kmaclam” on the messageboard about how everyone was so happy after this one: “Have you ever seen so many happy losers??? What an effort by Kiprop!”

QT #3: Fastest 1500 Ever Without Hicham El Guerrouj in the Field
Below is the all-time list for 1500 according to You can see how special this run was. Not only does it move Kiprop to #3 all-time, it was the fastest run ever by someone not in a race with Hicham El Guerrouj.

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As well as Kiprop did he wanted more. Afterwards he said, “At the bell I saw 2:31-2:32 so knew it could be a very fast time. At the end I’m very satisifed, but can admit I wanted a bit faster time. ”

Result P.A. Pos. Athlete Birth Cnt. Type Pl. Venue Date R.S. Rec.
3:26.00 1. 1. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F 1. Roma (ITA) 14.07.1998 1302 AR, WR
3:26.12 2. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F 1. Bruxelles (BEL) 24.08.2001 1301
3:26.34 2. 3. Bernard LAGAT 74 KEN F 2. Bruxelles (BEL) 24.08.2001 1297
3:26.45 4. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F1 1. Zürich (SUI) 12.08.1998 1296
3:26.69 3. 5. Asbel KIPROP 89 KEN F 1. Monaco (MON) 17.07.2015 1292
3:26.89 6. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F 1. Zürich (SUI) 16.08.2002 1289
3:26.96 7. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F 1. Rieti (ITA) 08.09.2002 1288
3:27.21 8. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F1 1. Zürich (SUI) 11.08.2000 1285
3:27.34 9. Hicham EL GUERROUJ 74 MAR F 1. Monaco (MON) 19.07.2002 1283
3:27.37 4. 10. Noureddine MORCELI 70 ALG F 1. Nice (FRA) 12.07.1995 1282

QT #4: Matt Centrowitz 10th Place and a PR
Matthew Centrowitz already has a Worlds silver and bronze to his name, but he has been running at another level this year. He continued that today with a nice PR, but it only got him 10th place, one spot worse than he got here last year. Centro’s run shows perfectly how championship running with no rabbits and time trial races are almost two completely different sports. The World Championships don’t have rabbits, and Centro remains on track with great hopes for another medal at Worlds and beating Kiprop is still in the realm of possibilities. Today’s run showed Centro is in great form in 2015, he is just outclassed in time-trial-type races.

He’s got nothing to hang his head down about, however. Tonight, he moved from #6 to #3 on the all-time US list and to #1 in terms of American-born athletes.

America’s Sub-3:31 Performers
1. 3:29.30 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 1 Rieti 28 Aug 2005
2. 3:29.77 Sydney Maree USA 9 Sep 56 1 Weltk Köln 25 Aug 1985
3. 3:30.40 Matthew Centrowitz USA 18 Oct 89 173/61 10 Herc Monaco 17 Jul 2015
4. 3:30.54 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 175/64 1 Gaz Saint-Denis 6 Jul 2007
5. 3:30.90 Andrew Wheating USA 21 Nov 87 196/81 4 Herc Monaco 22 Jul 2010
6. 3:30.98 Leo Manzano USA 12 Sep 84 165/57 8 Herc Monaco 18 Jul 2014

(Jim Spivey is next at 3:31.01)

QT #5: Mo Farah and Nick Willis Go Sub-3:30 at Age 32
Nick Willis and Mo Farah are both 32 years of age and they are rewriting what is possible for 1500m runners in their 30s. Both never went sub-3:30 until they hit 30 and now they’ve both done it at the age of 32. The Kenyan 5000m team had better have watched this race and realized they need to make Worlds super-fast if they want any chance of beating Farah at 5000 as he will destroy them in a tactical affair.

Bernard Lagat and Aman Wote are the only other men to break 3:30 after turning 30 years old.

QT #6: Leo Manzano Is Going to Worlds
Just as Matt Centrowitz is thankful there aren’t rabbits at Worlds, so is fellow American Leo Manzano.. The Olympic silver medallist was well, well beaten in 13th in 3:36.16, but he dipped under the 3:36.20 Worlds standard so he will be on the starting line for certain in Beijing.

QT #7: Deepest 1500 Ever
Before tonight, the deepest men’s 1500m race of all time was the 2014 edition of this meet where the best times for place were set from 3rd place all the way through to 10th. Now, the best times for place for 3rd through 10th (except for 7th) come from this race. Iguider is the fastest 3rd-place finisher ever, Farah is the fastest 4th-placer and so on, all the way down to Centrowitz as the fastest 10th-place finisher in history with 3:30.40.

Monaco 2015 Monaco 2014
 Asbel Kiprop – 3:26.69  Silas Kiplagat – 3:27.64
Taoufik Makhloufi – 3:28.75 Asbel Kiprop – 3:28.45
Abdelaati Iguider – 3:28.79  Ronald Kwemoi – 3:28.81
Mo Farah – 3:28.93  Ayanleh Souleiman – 3:29.58
Nick Willis – 3:29.66 Abdelaati Iguider – 3:29.83
Elijah Manangoi – 3:29.67  Aman Wote – 3:29.91
Robert Biwott – 3:30.10 Nick Willis – 3:29.91
Aman Wote – 3:30.29  Leo Manzano – 3:30.98
 Collins Cheboi – 3:30.34 Matt Centrowitz – 3:31.09
 Matt Centwotiz – 3:30.40 Henrik Ingebrigsten – 3:31.46

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