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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Men's 1500m



Host City: Osaka, Japan Format: First round (First 6 & 6 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 25)
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007 Format: Semi-finals (First 5 & 2 fastest to final) (Aug 27)
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF   nagai stadium01 
Defending champion Ramzi did not race at all in 2007 before Osaka because of a lingering foot injury, but he qualified comfortably from the heat and won the second semi-final. The first semi featured a dramatic finish when two men fell as a consequence of pushing by 2003 silver medallist Baala, who originally qualified for the final but was disqualified. The world leader Webb set the pace in the final, passing 400 in 58.63. Eighteen year-old Kiprop moved from last at 600m to first at 800m (1:58.08). Kiprop still led at the bell (2:41.51), with Webb, Lagat and Korir poised for the kill and Ramzi nearby but boxed in. Kiprop held off the challengers all the way till the last 60m, when Korir came up to his shoulder, and almost simultaneously Lagat came past. In his wake was Ramzi, who edged past Korir in the last few metres to take silver. Lagat – who was representing the USA for the first time at a championships – won his country’s first global gold at 1500m since 1908.
 The men's 1500 metres at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Nagai Stadium on 25, 27 and 29 August.


Prior to the competition, the following records were as follows.

World record  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3:26.00 Rome, Italy 14 July 1998
Championship record  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3:27.65 Seville, Spain 14 August 1999
World Leading  Alan Webb (USA) 3:30.54 Saint-Denis, France 6 July 2007
  1500m 29 August

Event report: Men’s 1500m Final

As a Kenyan, Bernard Lagat always seemed to be the unlucky man. Twice he had his heart set on an Olympic 1500m gold. Twice he came up against the imperious Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj. Twice he was left with a minor medal – bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004.

But tonight, in his adopted colours of the United States, Lagat finally won the global 1500m title he’s been craving for years, bringing the country where he became a citizen in 2005 its first World Championships 1500m title, and its first medal since Jim Spivey won bronze in 1987.

Indeed, this was United States’s first 1500m gold at a global event since Mel Sheppard at the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

Lagat ran a near-perfect race, sitting just off the leaders for 1420m, never out of touch, never in trouble. And when it came to the dash for the line, the man who sits second on the world all-time list had the form and speed to outkick all his rivals.

He crossed the line in 3min 34.77sec, not a time that’s going to trouble the statisticians, but as far as he’s concerned, who cares? At the finish it seemed he almost couldn’t believe it himself. Not yet allowing himself to smile, he held his hands wide, looked up to the heavy Osaka sky and mouthed the words, "Oh my God."

“I feel very special,” he said. “I did not get burned. Today was a perfect day. I have waited so long for this medal. I am going to inspire a lot of people in America and Kenya.”

And it wasn’t even meant to be him. American hearts had been set on Alan Webb, the man who leads the world rankings this year. Webb was carrying the hopes of State-side track fans everywhere, as he has since he broke the US High School record six years ago. But he could only finish eighth, simply outsprinted in the home stretch.

Lagat also left the defending champion Rashid Ramzi in his wake. The Bahrainian, who emerged from nowhere to win two golds in Helsinki, couldn’t find an answer to Lagat and had to be satisfied with silver in 3:35.00. Judging by his face, it was little compensation.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Ramzi. “The shape was there but I failed tactically. I didn’t make my moves at the right time.”

Kenyan champion Shadrack Korir was third in 3:35.04, reward for being in the right place at the right time.

After the pushing and shoving of the semi-finals, leading to disqualifications and two subsequent re-instatements, there were 14 on the start line, and the chances of another bruising encounter were on the cards.

Lagat looked utterly focused, his face a picture of concentration, while Webb was more relaxed, smiling and waving at the camera. Ramzi, though, seemed to be the man under pressure, his face lined with tension.

Webb took the lead for the first 100m before Korir took over, with Lagat already in his position as the shadow. Ramzi was back in eighth or ninth, on the outside. After a first lap of 58.63, Ramzi got boxed by the bunch as the second circuit unfolded with Webb, Korir and Lagat still to the fore.

It all changed at 700m when the young Kenyan Asbel Kiprop burst to the front with an injection of pace that took them through 800m in 1:58.08 and on to the bell in 2:41.51.

Webb began to make his move with 300m to go, but Lagat followed his every step, stuck to his shoulder round the bend, and kicked for home from 80m. It was decisive, leaving Ramzi with too much to do. He came from fifth to second, catching Korir but unable to make up the gap on Lagat.

Webb simply ran out of steam and faded from the fight. Afterwards he cut a disconsolate figure. He ripped off his lane number from his running shorts and stomped off down the tunnel. He’d been tipped two years ago, too, when he finished ninth.

“I wasn’t ready for the World Championships,” he admitted. “I don’t know what else to say. I just need to get better at doing this.”

The face of Lagat, 32, his compatriot, broke into a grin as he pulled his running vest out from his chest, displaying the letters "USA", and called for the Stars and Stripes. Then there were tears as he stood in the tunnel, waiting to start the first of dozens of interviews. The medal ceremony for Michelle Perry’s hurdles victory was underway, complete with the US national anthem.

“My medal is for the United States and everyone in America,” said Lagat.

A star spangled night indeed.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb

1 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 3.34.77
2 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.35.00
3 Shedrack Korir KEN 14 Dec 78 3.35.04
4 Asbel Kiprop KEN 30 Jun 89 3.35.24
5 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.35.26
6 Anter Zerguelaine ALG 4 Jan 85 3.35.29
7 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.35.62
8 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.35.69
9 Andy Baddeley GBR 20 Jun 82 3.35.95
10 Nick Willis NZL 25 Apr 83 3.36.13
11 Bilal Mansour Ali BRN 17 Oct 88 3.36.44
12 Sergio Gallardo ESP 22 Mar 79 3.37.03
13 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.38.43
14 Youssef Baba MAR 7 Aug 79 3.38.78
  Semifinals 27 August

Event report: Men’s 1500m semi-finals

One of the most open events of the entire World Championships remains, after tonight’s two bruising semis, just that.

While Rashid Ramzi looks on course to defend his title, it is hard to tell who his chief challengers will be, such was the scrambled nature of tonight’s two semi-finals, and some bizarre, not to say risky, tactics from the man thought most likely to deny Ramzi a second successive gold – the American who leads the world this year, Alan Webb.

Ramzi, the defending champion, easily won the second semi as the fastest qualifier, while Webb barely made it through in the fifth automatic qualifying spot from that race by the thickness of his running vest after leaving his run for home perilously late.

Webb’s teammate Bernard Lagat was a comfortable winner of the slower first semi in 3:42.39, but the mass dash for places behind him saw two of the medal contenders – Youssef Baba of Morocco and Kenya’s Daniel Kipchirchir Komen – crash to the track and out of the final. SEE NOTE BELOW

It was all a result of the rather pedestrian pace, as lap times of 62.94 and 64.93 led to a great bunch of runners passing the bell in 2:50.50. Spain’s Juan Carlos Higuero led them into the back straight where Lagat began to make his move having run easy on the leader’s shoulder for much of the race.

He turned on his customary finishing power over the last 100m and strode clear towards the finish line largely unaware of the carnage unfolding behind him.

First to suffer was Baba who appeared well placed to finish in the top five necessary to guarantee progress when France’s Mehdi Baala barged into the back of him attempting to squeeze past Algeria’s Tarek Boukensa. The gap simply wasn’t there.

Baba tumbled to the tartan, arms and legs flailing, bringing down Komen as he tried to skip over the prostrate Moroccan.

Baala finished fourth behind Boukensa and Kenya’s young star Asbel Kiprop, with the late charging Briton, Andrew Baddeley, taking fifth.

Spain’s Arturo Casado sensibly made the second semi a quicker race, taking them through 400m in 57.95 and 800m in 2:01.73. Ramzi ran a comfortable race, shadowing the leader until he needed to put his foot down over the final 200m. At that point he shifted into another gear and strode away from the Spaniard, plus a phalanx of chasers, to cross the line in 3:40.53.

It was all rather reminiscent of Helsinki when the Bahrainian became the first man ever to win the middle distance double at a World Championships.

Webb must have huge confidence in his own finishing kick. Either that or he simply forgot any tactical lessons he’s ever learned. He hung right at the back of the field, off the back at some stages, until the last 300m.

Then, just as the battle kicked off between the leaders 10m in front of him, Webb found himself with it all to do. He switched gears again with 200m to go, but was still well out of the places as he entered the straight. Only a rather desperate lunge for the line saw him into fifth, in 3:41.08, 0.06s ahead of three others.

Antar Zerguelaine, Casado, and Ramzi’s teammate, Belal Mansoor Ali were the other automatic qualifiers, with Sergio Gallardo of Spain and Kenyan Shedrack Kibet Korir taking the fastest qualifier spots.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb



Monday 27 August - 23:55

Protests were presented by the Spanish, New Zealand and Moroccan Teams after Semi Final 1 of the 1500m Men.

After examining the video of the race the Jury of Appeal decided to disqualify French athlete Mehdi BAALA (bib number 556) under rule 163.2.

The Jury of Appeal also decided to allow Spanish athlete Juan Carlos HIGUERO (bib number 510) and Moroccan athlete Youssef BABA (bib number 808)  to compete in the Final, considering they had been seriously affected by jostling and obstruction.

As a result of Baala’s disqualification, New Zealander Nicholas WILLIS (bib number 879) who had originally placed sixth and therefore was not qualified for the next round, moves into fifth place and is qualified for the Final.

RULE 163 (The Race)
2. Any competing athlete who jostles or obstructs another athlete, so as to impede his progress, shall be liable to disqualification from that event. The Referee shall have the authority to order the race to be re-held excluding any disqualified athlete or, in the case of a heat, to permit any athlete(s) seriously affected by jostling or obstruction (other than any disqualified athlete), to compete in a subsequent round of the event. Normally such an athlete should have completed the event with bona fide effort.

The French Team lodged an appeal in consequence of the revised result. The appeal will be examined tomorrow morning.

UPDATE - 28 August

Semi Final 1 of the 1500m Men (Monday 27.08).

Following the appeal presented by the French Team against the Jury of Appeal’s decision to disqualify French athlete Mehdi BAALA (bib number 556) under rule 163.2, the Jury of Appeal met again this morning.

The Jury of Appeal rejected the appeal presented by the French Team and maintained yesterday’s decision (27).

  Heat 1
1 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 3.42.39 Q
2 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.42.88 Q
3 Asbel Kiprop KEN 30 Jun 89 3.42.99 Q
4 Andy Baddeley GBR 20 Jun 82 3.43.03 Q
5 Nick Willis NZL 25 Apr 83 3.43.34 Q
6 Mohamed Moustaoui MAR 2 Apr 85 3.43.39
7 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH 11 Oct 88 3.43.41
8 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.44.15 q
9 Sadjad Moradi IRI 30 Mar 83 3.46.21
10 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 27 Nov 84 4.02.95
11 Youssef Baba MAR 7 Aug 79 4.16.23 q
Mehdi Baala FRA 17 Aug 78 DQ 163.2 3.43.01
  Heat 2
1 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.40.53 Q
2 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 24 Jun 83 3.40.79 Q
3 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.40.83 Q
4 Bilal Mansour Ali BRN 17 Oct 88 3.41.01 Q
5 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.41.08 Q
6 Sergio Gallardo ESP 22 Mar 79 3.41.14 q
7 Shedrack Korir KEN 14 Dec 78 3.41.15 q
8 Anter Zerguelaine ALG 4 Jan 85 3.41.17
9 Kevin Sullivan CAN 20 Mar 74 3.41.27
10 Christian Obrist ITA 20 Nov 80 3.42.93
11 Fumikazu Kobayashi JPN 21 Mar 78 3.43.64
12 Mohamed Othman Shahween KSA 15 Feb 86 3.44.54
  Heats 25 August

Event report: Men's 1,500m 1st round

For a man who hasn’t competed all season, reigning champion Rashid Ramzi looked in ominously good form when qualifying from this morning’s heats of the men’s 1,500m.

Ramzi’s been suffering from a foot injury that’s prevented him competing so far this year, not that it showed as he strode through his heat in a steamy Nagai Stadium, clocking 3min 38.72sec to finish second behind France’s Mehdi Baala.

Ramzi, who won the first men's middle distance double at a World Championships in Helsinki two years ago, preserved his energy until the final 250m, when he cruised to the shoulder of Baala, held his form down the home straight and eased into Monday evening’s semi-finals. Baala edged him at the line to clock 3:38.65, the quickest of the round.

But Ramzi won’t have an easy defence of his title as the United States' great hope, Alan Webb, also made easy progress. The world’s fastest man this year at both 1,500m and the mile, Webb ran a controled race in the first of the three heats to finish second in 3:40.73.

With six to qualify from each heat automatically, the 24-year-old ensured his place in the semi-finals behind Kenya’s young star, Asbel Kiprop. Webb shadowed the early race leader, Mounir Yemmouni of France, until 250m to go then cruised into the lead with a thick pack behind him.

Kiprop, the 18-year-old African Games champion, came from well down the field to sneak victory in 3:40.65. On this evidence, he will also be a major medal threat come Wednesday evening’s final.

Webb’s teammate, Bernard Lagat, a two-time Olymic medallist when racing for Kenya, also qualified easily. Running in the third heat, Lagat adopted Ramzi’s tactics of staying off the pace until the closing stages. He was ninth with 200m to go but saved plenty of energy to come through the field and cross the line in third place behind Spain’s Arturo Casado (3:41.33) and Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremehdin (3:41.43). Lagat clocked 3:41.68.

Britain’s Andrew Baddeley, who beat Lagat in Sheffield earlier this summer, had a tougher time. He finished fifth in heat two in 3:39.60 behind Kenya’s Shadrack Kibet Korir, fifth best in the world this year.

Notable names to miss out included Ukraine’s 2006 World Indoor Champion Ivan Hesko, who finished eighth in heat one in 3:42.08, while Kenya’s Daniel Kipchirchir Komen struggled through as a fastest qualifier.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb
  Heat 1
1 Asbel Kiprop KEN 30 Jun 89 3.40.65 Q
2 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.40.73 Q
3 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.40.93 Q
4 Youssef Baba MAR 7 Aug 79 3.40.96 Q
5 Anter Zerguelaine ALG 4 Jan 85 3.40.97 Q
6 Kevin Sullivan CAN 20 Mar 74 3.41.39 Q
7 Mohamed Othman Shahween KSA 15 Feb 86 3.41.58 q
8 Ivan Heshko UKR 19 Aug 79 3.42.08
9 Javier Carriqueo ARG 29 May 79 3.42.20
10 Mounir Yemmouni FRA 12 Oct 83 3.42.68
11 Hudson de Souza BRA 25 Feb 77 3.43.37
12 Ansu Sowe GAM 15 Jul 86 3.50.77
13 Sevak Yeghikyan ARM 13 Feb 86 4.00.61
  Heat 2
1 Mehdi Baala FRA 17 Aug 78 3.38.65 Q
2 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.38.72 Q
3 Mohamed Moustaoui MAR 2 Apr 85 3.39.54 Q
4 Shedrack Korir KEN 14 Dec 78 3.39.55 Q
5 Andy Baddeley GBR 20 Jun 82 3.39.60 Q
6 Sergio Gallardo ESP 22 Mar 79 3.39.92 Q
7 Nick Willis NZL 25 Apr 83 3.40.18 q
8 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 24 Jun 83 3.41.05 q
9 Fumikazu Kobayashi JPN 21 Mar 78 3.41.19 q
10 Sadjad Moradi IRI 30 Mar 83 3.41.49 q
11 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 20 Oct 87 3.43.15
12 Kamel Boulahfane ALG 1 Jul 76 3.43.88
13 Leo Manzano USA 12 Sep 84 3.45.97
14 Saysana Bannavong LAO 20 Dec 86 4.19.80
  Heat 3
1 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.41.33 Q
2 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH 11 Oct 88 3.41.43 Q
3 Bernard Lagat USA 12 Dec 74 3.41.68 Q
4 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.41.71 Q
5 Christian Obrist ITA 20 Nov 80 3.41.74 Q
6 Bilal Mansour Ali BRN 17 Oct 88 3.41.87 Q
7 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 27 Nov 84 3.41.96 q
8 Abdelaati Iguider MAR 25 Mar 87 3.43.25
9 Mark Fountain AUS 10 Mar 82 3.43.51
10 Byron Piedra ECU 9 Aug 82 3.45.59
11 Gareth Hyett NZL 13 Feb 80 3.45.70
12 Chauncy Master MAW 2 Jun 85 3.55.18
13 Bunting Hem CAM 12 Dec 85 4.08.31
14 Serdar Nurmuradov TKM 30 Jan 87 4.10.42

Heat 1 25 AUG 2007 11:25

1 1070 Ivan Heshko UKR UKR 3:30.33 3:35.03
2 431 Kevin Sullivan CAN CAN 3:31.71 3:34.16
3 312 Anter Zerguelaine ALG ALG 3:31.95 3:34.32
4 320 Sevak Yeghikyan ARM ARM 3:58.91i 3:58.91i
5 582 Ansu Sowe GAM GAM 3:52.32 3:52.32
6 808 Youssef Baba MAR MAR 3:32.13 3:32.13
7 316 Javier Carriqueo ARG ARG 3:38.62 3:38.62
8 578 Mounir Yemmouni FRA FRA 3:32.97 3:34.52
9 396 Hudson de Souza BRA BRA 3:33.25 3:36.32
10 510 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP ESP 3:31.57 3:32.18
11 1154 Alan Webb USA USA 3:30.54 3:30.54
12 769 Asbel Kiprop KEN KEN 3:35.5 3:35.5
13 793 Mohammed Shaween KSA KSA 3:38.18 3:38.18

Heat 2 25 AUG 2007 11:35

1 556 Mehdi Baala FRA FRA 3:28.98 3:31.01
2 537 Deresse Mekonnen ETH ETH 3:36.41 3:36.41
3 827 Juan Luis Barrios MEX MEX 3:37.71 3:37.71
4 879 Nick Willis NZL NZL 3:32.17 3:35.85
5 680 Sajad Moradi IRI IRI 3:38.80 3:38.80
6 509 Sergio Gallardo ESP ESP 3:33.43 3:33.43
7 408 Rashid Ramzi BRN BRN 3:29.14  
8 822 Mohamed Moustaoui MAR MAR 3:32.51 3:32.67
9 583 Andrew Baddeley GBR GBR 3:34.74 3:34.74
10 745 Fumikazu Kobayashi JPN JPN 3:37.42 3:40.76
11 773 Shedrack Kibet Korir KEN KEN 3:31.18 3:31.18
12 796 Saysana Bannavong LAO LAO 4:08.03 4:10.13
13 1117 Leonel Manzano USA USA 3:35.29 3:35.29
14 307 Kamel Boulahfane ALG ALG 3:32.44 3:34.62

Heat 3 25 AUG 2007 11:45

1 1045 Serdar Nurmyradov TKM TKM 4:02.50 4:02.50
2 337 Mark Fountain AUS AUS 3:33.68 3:37.42
3 536 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH ETH 3:36.04 3:36.04
4 416 Bunting Hem CAM CAM 4:03.87  
5 772 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN KEN 3:29.02 3:32.44
6 703 Christian Obrist ITA ITA 3:35.74 3:35.75
7 404 Belal Ali Mansoor BRN BRN 3:31.49 3:31.49
8 505 Arturo Casado ESP ESP 3:34.09 3:34.09
9 818 Abdelaati Iguider MAR MAR 3:32.68 3:32.75
10 878 Gareth Hyett NZL NZL 3:38.63 3:38.63
11 1113 Bernard Lagat USA USA 3:26.34 3:33.85
12 306 Tarek Boukensa ALG ALG 3:30.92 3:30.92
13 493 Bayron Piedra ECU ECU 3:37.88 3:37.88
14 824 Chauncy Master MAW MAW 3:52.27 3:52.27

Event preview: Men’s 1500m

The United States is expected to make a huge impact in the sprints but what the nation has craved for more than three decades is a world-class middle-distance athlete. In Alan Webb, America might just have found its long-awaited star.

Until this year, the 24-year-old had struggled to fulfil the talent he showed at high school, but this season he appears to be a much-improved athlete. He tops the World season’s lists for 1500m (3:30.54) and the Mile (3:46.91) – setting a US record in the latter – and is unbeaten over the two distances in seven outdoor outings.

He also set an impressive 800m personal best of 1:43.84 and arrives in Osaka as pre-event favourite.

Behind Webb it is difficult to separate the rest of the pack. Defending champion Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, who memorably claimed the 800m and 1500m double in Helsinki, intends to start in Osaka but he has failed to compete this year. His countryman Belal Mansoor Ali has run 3:31.49 and he’s triumphed in his last three races in Athens, Lausanne and Monaco.

Kenyan Daniel Kipchirchir Komen won the 1500m in Oslo and has recorded 3:32.44 and 3:48.28 for the 1500m and Mile this year but he disappointed at the last World Championships and failed to progress beyond his heat. Compatriot Shadrack Korir has run 3:31.18 this year and may also threaten.

Mehdi Baala of France, the World silver medallist in 2003, ran 3:31.01 in Paris but has competed sparingly this year.

Watch out, too, for Algerian Tarek Boukensa who will start as a dark horse after his 3:30.92 clocking in Rome.

American veteran Bernard Lagat, the 2001 silver medallist, showed signs of a return to his best by winning the 1500m in London in his last outing over the metric Mile prior to Osaka.

Osaka 2007 News Team




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