Day 3 PM Recap: A Mouth Watering Men’s 1500 Final Is Set As Devon Allen DQ Overshadows American Gold Rush, SAFP the GOAT

July 17, 2022

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EUGENE, Ore. – Night 3 of the 2022 World Athletics Championships was a wild one. While there were no distance finals on the track (though the men’s marathon was held in the morning and the men’s 10,000 in the afternoon), we saw a pair of compelling men’s 1500 semifinals plus finals in the women’s pole vault, men’s shot put, women’s 100, and men’s 110 hurdles.

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Team USA had a historically good day as they won a record 9 medals on a single day – the most in WC history. In the evening session alone, the US went 1-2-3 in the shot (Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Josh Awotunde), 1-2 in the pole vault (Katie Nageotte, Sandi Morris), and 1-2 in the 110 hurdles (Grant Holloway, Trey Cunningham). But the session was overshadowed by the controversial disqualification of American hurdle star (and University of Oregon alum) Devon Allen, the 2022 world leader whose reaction time of .099 of a second in the 110 hurdles fell one-thousandth of a second under the legal limit and triggered a false start. 

After the early American success, the final event of the night belonged to Jamaica as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.67), Shericka Jackson (10.73), and Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.81) swept the event just as they did at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo, albeit in a different order.

From a distance perspective, the men’s 1500 final is now set for Tuesday night and it should be a special one. Sunday’s semifinals provided great theater, and two medal threats failed to make it through in World Indoor champion Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia and Australia’s Ollie Hoare. Of the two Americans remaining in the field, Johnny Gregorek (8th in heat 1) was eliminated while Josh Thompson (7th in heat 2) advanced as the final time qualifier. And in equally important news, Olympic champ Jakob Ingebrigtsen – who did advance to the final – revealed that he listens to the Track Talk podcast.

A detailed breakdown of the men’s 1500 semi appears below. For a recap of the rest of the meet, read the following 3 articles.

Men’s 1500: Tefera & Hoare go home as a great final is set

The first semi was stacked

Heat 1 was clearly the stronger of the two semis as it featured the entire Tokyo Olympic podium in Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Timothy Cheruiyot, and Josh Kerr as well as World Indoor champ Samuel Tefera and the man who finished runner-up to Ingebrigtsen at Pre and in Oslo, Ollie Hoare. Altogether, the field included 6 of the top 15 ranked 1500 runners on the globe plus the World indoor champ. Ingebrigtsen led most of the heat but things were still very tight with 100 meters to go with 10 of the 12 men in the field in contention for the five auto spots in the final. Tefera, 3rd midway down the home stretch, ran a poor final 50 while Hoare could never get going and was not any better. Kerr, meanwhile, was only 9th at the top of the home straight but looked terrific in cruising to the front and taking the heat win in 3:36.92, with NCAA runner-up Mario Garcia Romo, Ingebrigtsen, Cheruiyot, and Olympic finalist Ignacio Fontes of Spain all advancing as well.

Going second, heat 2 had the advantage of knowing what they had to run to earn the time qualifiers plus the advantage of having Aussie Stewart McSweyn in the race, a guy known for pushing the pace. McSweyn did indeed take it out hard, hitting 800 in 1:53.66, and though he would only wind up 5th in 3:35.07, he did enough to ensure that both time qualifiers came from heat 2, meaning the top seven finishers all advanced. With 200 to go, only the final qualifying spot was still in jeopardy with Thompson six meters behind New Zealand’s Sam Tanner. But Thompson covered his final 200 in 27.65 to Tanner’s 29.08 to run him down for seventh and book his spot in the final as Olympic 4th placer Abel Kipsang won the heat in 3:33.68. *Results

Quick Take: Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s post-race comments were very interesting

Ingebrigtsen started his post-race comments by saying he’s listened to the Track Talk podcast a few times.

“I guess your opinions are very different…I’ve seen a couple of your podcasts. I agree mostly with him (pointing to Jonathan Gault),” said Jakob Ingebrigtsen to co-founder Robert Johnson.

Robert took that as a huge compliment. Didn’t Apple become the world’s most valuable company by telling people to Think Different?

As for the race, Ingebrigtsen’s comments were interesting. “It’s pretty good. I don’t know what happened behind me but I believe some people used a little bit too much energy in the wrong places… I’m ready for Tuesday,” said the Olympic champ, who revealed that he thought about staying in the back the whole race but instead decided to take the lead and try to slow it down. He said he was happy he wasn’t in heat 2 with Stewart McSweyn running fast.

As he was heading out, we asked him if he thought Timothy Cheruiyot would take it out hard and he said. “No.” We then asked him if he’d take the lead and he said, “I think it’s going to be a sprint finish.”

Was Ingebrigtsen telling the truth or sending out disinformation to his competitors? We’ll find out in two days.

Quick Take: Josh Kerr is feeling confident, and based on the first two rounds, it’s deserved

Kerr barely made the British team, edging Jake Heyward by just .03 to finish 3rd at the British trials on June 25, but he’s looked like a new man at Worlds, winning both his first and second round heats (the golden sunglasses certainly add to the look). How does Kerr explain the difference? Kerr said it’s difficult to peak for both meets and his focus this year has always been 100% on Worlds.

“If you’re not at British trials, you don’t know what it’s like,” Kerr said. “We have our heats at 7:30 p.m., we have our final at 3:30 p.m., the gustiest of winds, so it’s a 600-meter race. It’s very different from being in 3:28 shape. You need to be in 1:44 [800m] shape, and I wasn’t.”

So does that mean Kerr is in 3:28 shape right now?

“Hmmm,” Kerr said. “I’d say 3:27-high.”

Kerr was also asked what he made of Ingebrigtsen’s comments anticipating a sprint finish in Tuesday’s final.

“Oh really?” Kerr said. “I would say that’s a bad decision for him, if he saw [what happened] today. I think he might just be saying that just to say it. But that’s not going to make any difference the way I’m going to prepare. I’ve been ready for this for years, so I’m excited to go out there and race on one of the fastest tracks I’ve ever raced on in my life and just put a show on for you guys.”

Quick Take: We can’t wait for the final

Oh baby. The final is going to be great. The stars appear to be in form and ready. Some of them are talking big as well. Are they telling the truth or sending out disinformation? What will the tactics be? Fast? Slow? The anticipation will only build for 48 hours and we can’t wait to see how it plays out. It will be must-watch TV for all track and field fans.

Quick Take: Heat 1 was definitely more stacked than heat 2 but there aren’t too many reasons to complain as the top 5 in each heat advanced

The heats are assigned according to a predetermined formula based on the results of the first round. That being said, it’s not every day that all three Olympic medallists plus the indoor world champ end up in the same heat.

Personally, we think we might prefer seeing just “top 6 advance, no time” as compared to the top 5 + 2 on time but there isn’t too much to complain about.

Quick Take: Ollie Hoare felt he made some tactical errors early and didn’t have a kick late

Hoare said he tried to get into good position throughout the race, but as soon as he got to where he wanted he found himself shuffled back, wasting precious energy. Whether that made the difference between advancing and not is impossible to say – he was still in contention with 100 to go and had no kick – but it didn’t help matters.

“I think maybe next time I should just stay relaxed and focused on the closedown because the last 100 meters, I just had nothing in the legs,” Hoare said. “It’s very disappointing.”

Hoare is still fairly new to the elite scene – 2022 is his second full year as a pro – but so far his regular-season results have far outstripped his championship performances. Last year, Hoare was 5th in the Bowerman Mile and 4th at the Diamond League final but just 11th at the Olympics. This year, Hoare won the Wanamaker Mile but was 5th at World Indoors and finished second behind Ingebrigtsen at Pre and Oslo but won’t be in the World Championship final. Hoare felt he had his best preparation yet for Worlds this year so he may have to sit down with coach Dathan Ritzenhein and see if there’s a larger issue at work.

Quick Take: Two-time world indoor champ Samuel Tefera’s outdoor struggles continue to baffle us

We tried to talk to Tefera both after the prelims and today but he didn’t talk either time. We’d love to know why he is so much better indoors than outdoors. Today he once again failed to make an outdoor final as he was just 9th in the first semi in 3:37.71. He’s a two-time world indoor champ but has never even made a global final outdoors in four attempts.

In 2018, he won his first world indoor 1500 title. That year outdoors, he didn’t even medal at world juniors. In 2019, he ran 3:31 indoors but didn’t make the finals outdoors. Last year after only racing once indoors, he ran 3:30.71 in Monaco but went out in the heats of the Olympics. This year, he beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen indoors but didn’t run any 1500s outdoors until Worlds and didn’t even make the final in Eugene.

Quick Take: Josh Thompson is the lone American in the 1500 final

Five weeks ago, after the Portland Track Festival, if someone predicted, “Josh Thompson will be the lone American in the Eugene Worlds,” people would have thought you were crazy. At the PTF, Thompson ran 3:36.29 and only finished 8th overall, and was just the 6th American in the race.

Now he’s the lone American in the final at World Outdoors, which is his second global final this year as he also was a finalist indoors (but was last by more than three seconds). That’s some pretty good stuff for a guy who is now 29 and had never made a US team before this year.

Quick Take: Johnny Gregorek will keep on grinding through at least 2024

Quick Take: NCAA runner-up Mario Garcia Romo is dreaming of a medal

A month ago, the recent Ole Miss grad Garcia Romo was upset on this track for the NCAA title, but he looked impressive today in booking his place in his first global final. After finishing ahead of Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot in his semi, Garcia says he is dreaming of a medal in the final since he has nothing to lose at this point.

“If I’m in a final, I think the medal is everything I should aim for,” Garcia Romo said. “If not, I will stay home.”

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