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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Men's 800m



Host City: Osaka, Japan Format: First round (First 3 & 6 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 30)
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007 Format: Semi-finals (First 2 & 2 fastest to final) (Aug 31)
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF   nagai stadium01
The winning time in the final was the slowest yet, but the preliminaries were the toughest. Fastest in the heats was Kamel, a transferee to Bahrain from Kenya, whose father was the 1987 and 1991 champion Billy Konchellah. In every one of the six heats, the fastest non-qualifier was quicker than the previous record of 1:46.45 from 1995. In the semis, Kamel went out despite clocking 1:45.31. The final started slowly, led by Reed at 400m in 55.08. Chepkirwok slipped by the Canadian, and led by a metre at the 600m point (1:22.18), with Borzakovskiy (1:22.6) four metres behind the leader. Reed edged past with 120m to go, and Kirwa Yego began to challenge with 75m left. Reed held off the Kenyan until the last two strides, and the margin of victory was the closest in World Championship history. The Kenyan’s last 200m had taken just 24.6 compared with Reed’s 24.9. Behind them Borzakovskiy overtook Bungei and a fading Chepkirwok with 10m to go. With less than five metres covering the whole field, it was an exciting finish to a less than stirring race. The winner, who was eliminated in the first round in Helsinki, became the youngest-ever World 800m Champion. Defending Champion Ramzi went out in the semi-finals.
 The men's 800 metres at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Nagai Stadium on 30, 31 August and 2 September.


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

World record  Wilson Kipketer (DEN) 1:41.11 Cologne, Germany 24 August 1997
Championship record  Billy Konchellah (KEN) 1:43.06 Rome, Italy 1 September 1987
World leading  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA) 1:43.74 Monaco 25 July 2007
  800m 2 September

Event report: Men’s 800m Final

An event which has served up a number of shock gold medallists in the past produced another, as Kenya’s unheralded Alfred Kirwa Yego snatched victory in the final strides of a tactical, slow-run final in 1min 47.09sec.

It was a remarkable victory for Yego, who outside of the heats and semi-finals here in Osaka had failed to win a race all season, as he edged out Canada’s Gary Reed by 0.01sec.

Yuriy Borzakovskiy, the Olympic champion, once again left his run for World Championship gold too late and had to be satisfied with the bronze in 1:47.39 – to add to the silver medals he won at the 2003 and 2005 championships.

Yego became the first Kenyan to win the title for 14 years, since Paul Ruto struck gold in Stuttgart, and join the likes of Willi Wulbeck and Djabir Said-Guerni as largely surprise winners of this title.

Yego, 20, who had exited the heats at the last World Championships in Helsinki and finished third at the Kenyan trials earlier this summer, said: “Until now, I can’t believe I’m the one who won it! I was expecting the race to be very tough because everybody was going for victory.

"As we went through the first lap, it was very easy for me and I knew I would definitely be in contention. At 600m I was so relaxed I felt I could win, so I unleashed my last kick with 100m to go, but I was not sure I won the gold until I crossed the line.”

An elated Reed described winning silver as the “greatest day of my life” and he added, “When I was leading I slowed the race down because I knew if the race was slow I would have better chances.”

A philosophical Borzakovskiy admitted he was surprised by the slow pace of the race and added: “When I started my kick they did not allow me to go so I was forced to move on the outside and that cost me a lot of power. After such a race to have the bronze is great, I’m satisfied."

Reed, the Canadian-record holder ,was quickly to the fore leading the field through 200m in 25.60 followed by 18-year-old world bronze medallist Abraham Chepkirwok of Uganda.

The pace, however, significantly slowed during the second 200m and Reed passed the halfway mark in a modest 55.08, with Borzakovskiy hitting halfway tucked on the inside in sixth.

Down the back straight Chepkirwok quickened and made a victory bid and led by a metre at 600m in 1:22.18, but coming off the final bend it was Reed who kicked into the lead.

Just for a moment it looked like the Canadian had stolen a decisive march on the field. But then Yego emerged in pursuit. In a desperate finish, the diminutive Kenyan lunged for the line to edge victory in the tightest final in the history of the championships.

Borzakovskiy arrived too late with his familiar late surge and had to be satisfied with bronze by 0.02 from the fading Chepkirwok. Kenyan team skipper Wilfred Bungei was a further 0.01 back in fifth.

Only 0.49 separated the entire eight men in the final and it was also the slowest gold medal-winning time in the history of the event.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sl

1 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN 28 Nov 86 1.47.09
2 Gary Reed CAN 25 Oct 81 1.47.10
3 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 12 Apr 81 1.47.39
4 Abraham Chepkirwok UGA 18 Nov 88 1.47.41
5 Wilfred Bungei KEN 24 Jul 80 1.47.42
6 Amine Laalou MAR 13 May 82 1.47.45
7 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 8 Sep 80 1.47.52
8 Mohammed Al-Salhi KSA 11 May 86 1.47.58
  Semifinals 31 August

Event report: Men’s 800m Semi-finals

Rashid Ramzi will not be defending his 800m title on Sunday. The Bahrainian has had an injury-hit season and simply ran out of steam in the men’s 800m semi-finals this evening as the stresses and strains of five races and the trauma of losing his 1500m title on Wednesday finally caught up with him.

But he wasn’t the the only medal hope to bite the dust as another man perished in a third heat that was heavily loaded with podium prospects.

The Bahrainian Youssef Saad Kamel was one of them. He holds the third quickest time in the world this year, but won’t be emulating his father, the great Kenyan Billy Konchellah who was World champion in 1987 and 1991.

Finishing fourth, Kamel missed qualification as a fastest loser by 0.08s.

Their absence increases Yuriy Borzakovskiy’s prospects of finally adding the World title to his Olympic crown. The Russian, who’s finished as silver medallist in 2005 and 2003, ran an intelligent, controlled race to win that third heat in 1:54.12.

Alfred Yego of Kenya was the fastest qualifier after winning heat one in 1:44.54, his best of the year, with the Olympic silver medallist and this year’s fastest man, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi second in 1:44.71.

With only two to go through by right, Khadevis Robinson (USA) decided to make the race fast, hitting the front from the start and taking the field through the bell in 50.33. Mulaudzi was on his tail, though, with Yego and Uganda’s Abraham Chepkirwok also in contact.

It was these who took the top four positions, but Yego had the edge over the South African in the home straight, while Chepkirwok was third in 1:44.84 which turned out to be the third quickest of the round and easily enough to go through.

Robinson’s front running was all to no avail as he finished fourth in 1:45.45 and missed out.

Dmitriy Bogdanov did the pace-making duties in heat two, and although he was slower than the first race – 51.57 at 400m – he and Moroccan Amine Laalou opened a gap on the field that stretched to 10m. The great surprise was Ramzi, who languished in fifth, another three metres back, and when the move came to bridge the gap came, it wasn’t him but Reed.

Ramzi tried to find that killer change of gear that brought him two titles two years ago, but it just wasn’t there. He gave up in the straight and jogged in at the back of the field in 1:47.76.

Briton Michael Rimmer adopted the all or nothing, gamble or bust tactic in heat three. He blasted away and led by 15m at the bell, 51.42. It couldn’t last. Borzakovskiy led the chase, with Kamel, Bungei and the impressive Mohammed Al Salhi of Saudi Arabia on his tail.

As Rimmer cranked to a near full stop in the home straight, Borzakovskiy brought them home ahead of Bungei with Al Salhi in third pushing Kamel out of the final.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb

  Heat 1
1 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN 28 Nov 86 1.44.54 Q
2 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 8 Sep 80 1.44.71 Q
3 Abraham Chepkirwok UGA 18 Nov 88 1.44.84 q
4 Khadevis Robinson USA 19 Jul 76 1.45.45
5 Fabiano Pecanha BRA 5 Jun 82 1.45.95
6 Dmitrijs Milkevics LAT 6 Dec 81 1.46.27
7 Abdoulaye Wagne SEN 30 Jan 81 1.46.49
8 Mohcine Chehibi MAR 28 Jan 78 1.51.31
  Heat 2
1 Gary Reed CAN 25 Oct 81 1.44.92 Q
2 Amine Laalou MAR 13 May 82 1.45.11 Q
3 Dmitriy Bogdanov RUS 11 Apr 79 1.45.36
4 Nabil Madi ALG 9 Jun 81 1.45.59
5 Manuel Olmedo ESP 17 May 83 1.45.61
6 Nick Symmonds USA 30 Dec 83 1.46.41
7 Justus Koech KEN 19 Mar 80 1.46.86
8 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 1.47.76
  Heat 3
1 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 12 Apr 81 1.45.12 Q
2 Wilfred Bungei KEN 24 Jul 80 1.45.20 Q
3 Mohammed Al-Salhi KSA 11 May 86 1.45.23 q
4 Youssef Saad Kamel BRN 29 Mar 81 1.45.31
5 Kleberson Davide BRA 20 Jul 85 1.46.45
6 Michael Rimmer GBR 3 Feb 86 1.47.39
7 Yassine Bensghir MAR 3 Jan 83 1.48.04
8 Mohamed Mutlak Al-Azimi KUW 16 Jun 82 1.50.28
  Heats 30 August

Event report: Men’s 800m Heats

There was no hanging around in the first round, as 15 men qualified with sub 1min 46sec times for Friday’s semi-finals.
The most impressive qualifier was Youssef Saad Kamel of Bahrain, who is bidding to emulate his father, Billy Konchellah, who won this title twice for Kenya in 1987 and 1991. Kamel, formerly Gregory Konchellah, has the same high stepping, silky smooth action as his father and triumphed comfortably in the sixth and final heat in 1:45.25 to head the qualifiers.

Amine Laalou crossed the line first in a tidy 1:46.00 to take heat one. The Moroccan record-holder tracked Sajad Moradi of Iran at halfway (51.27), before he kicked past the long-time leader entering the home straight and coasted to the heat win. US indoor champion Nick Symmonds edged the sprint for second in 1:46.16. Moradi faded to sixth and was eliminated.

It was also a formality for world No5 Gary Reed in heat two. The Canadian record-holder eased through in the identical winning time of 1:46.00 as the opening heat. Algeria’s Nabil Madi was just 0.02 further back, although Justus Koech, of Kenya, was forced to work hard down the home straight before prevailing in his battle with past World Cup winner Antonio Manuel Reina of Spain for the third automatic spot.

Defending champion Rashid Ramzi suffered a momentary scare before sealing his place in the semi-finals in heat three. The Bahrain athlete, who landed the silver medal in the 1500m final last night, was fifth and boxed in coming into the final stretch. But he managed to find much needed space, running in lane two, and with a strong spurt grabbed second in 1:45.56. World No1 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, of South Africa, ran a controlled race to win in 1:45.56 – aided by a swift last lap of 53.52.

Kenyan Alfred Kirwa Yego produced a great turn of speed to take heat four in a season’s best 1:45.52. Five men dipped below 1:46 and all five progressed to the semi-finals, although third place finisher Dmitriys Milkevics unceremoniously barged Spain’s Manuel Olemedo, fifth, in the latter stages.

A loaded heat five saw Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Salhi take an eye-catching victory in 1:45.58. Al Salhi, the Asian champion and Rome Golden League winner, ghosted past Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy and World Indoor champion Wilfred Bungei with the confidence of a man who knows he could make a serious impact in the later rounds. Borzakovskiy took second in the same time as Bungei, 1:45.79 – although the Russian looked as if he was working a little harder than he would have wished.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sl

  Heat 1
1 Amine Laalou MAR 13 May 82 1.46.00 Q
2 Nick Symmonds USA 30 Dec 83 1.46.16 Q
3 Kleberson Davide BRA 20 Jul 85 1.46.17 Q
4 Bilal Mansour Ali BRN 17 Oct 88 1.46.34
5 Achraf Tadili CAN 8 Jul 80 1.46.73
6 Sadjad Moradi IRI 30 Mar 83 1.46.75
7 Mohammed Ahmed Al-Yafaee YEM 6 Oct 84 1.56.55
Ahmad Ismail SUD 10 Sep 84 DNF
  Heat 2
1 Gary Reed CAN 25 Oct 81 1.46.00 Q
2 Nabil Madi ALG 9 Jun 81 1.46.02 Q
3 Justus Koech KEN 19 Mar 80 1.46.08 Q
4 Antonio Manuel Reina ESP 13 Jun 81 1.46.35
5 Arnoud Okken NED 20 Apr 82 1.47.23
6 Jeff Riseley AUS 11 Nov 86 1.47.44
7 Aunese Curreen SAM 23 Dec 85 1.47.72
  Heat 3
1 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 8 Sep 80 1.45.56 Q
2 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 1.45.64 Q
3 Dmitriy Bogdanov RUS 11 Apr 79 1.45.66 Q
4 Fabiano Pecanha BRA 5 Jun 82 1.45.77 q
5 Yeimer Lopez CUB 20 Aug 82 1.46.28
6 Mattias Claesson SWE 26 Jul 86 1.46.43
7 Eugenio Barrios ESP 3 Nov 76 1.46.62
8 Bram Som NED 20 Feb 80 1.46.81
  Heat 4
1 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN 28 Nov 86 1.45.52 Q
2 Michael Rimmer GBR 3 Feb 86 1.45.66 Q
3 Dmitrijs Milkevics LAT 6 Dec 81 1.45.72 Q
4 Khadevis Robinson USA 19 Jul 76 1.45.78 q
5 Manuel Olmedo ESP 17 May 83 1.45.90 q
6 Eduard Villanueva VEN 29 Dec 84 1.46.33
7 Dave Campbell IRL 28 Jan 82 1.46.47
8 Fadrique Iglesias BOL 12 Oct 80 1.48.42
  Heat 5
1 Mohammed Al-Salhi KSA 11 May 86 1.45.58 Q
2 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 12 Apr 81 1.45.79 Q
3 Wilfred Bungei KEN 24 Jul 80 1.45.79 Q
4 Yassine Bensghir MAR 3 Jan 83 1.45.90 q
5 Abdoulaye Wagne SEN 30 Jan 81 1.46.20 q
6 Abubaker Kaki SUD 21 Jun 89 1.46.38
7 Masato Yokota JPN 19 Nov 87 1.47.16
8 Mahamoud Farah DJI 4 Sep 88 1.49.06
  Heat 6
1 Youssef Saad Kamel BRN 29 Mar 81 1.45.25 Q
2 Abraham Chepkirwok UGA 18 Nov 88 1.45.68 Q
3 Mohamed Mutlak Al-Azimi KUW 16 Jun 82 1.45.85 Q
4 Mohcine Chehibi MAR 28 Jan 78 1.46.16 q
5 Samuel Mwera Chegere TAN 3 Jun 85 1.46.24
6 Jozef Repcik SVK 3 Aug 86 1.46.53
7 Duane Solomon USA 28 Dec 84 1.48.95
8 Souleymane Ould Chebal MTN 31 Dec 86 1.56.45

Heat 1 30 AUG 2007 19:40

2 394 Kleberson Davide BRA BRA 1:45.47 1:45.47
3 1006 Ismail Ahmed Ismail SUD SUD 1:44.70 1:47.29
4 432 Achraf Tadili CAN CAN 1:45.05 1:45.84
5 1164 Mohammed Ahmed Al-Yafaee YEM YEM 1:53.3 1:54.0
6 820 Amine Laalou MAR MAR 1:43.25 1:43.94
7 404 Belal Ali Mansoor BRN BRN 1:44.34 1:44.74
8 680 Sajad Moradi IRI IRI 1:44.74 1:46.40
9 1140 Nick Symmonds USA USA 1:44.54 1:44.54

Heat 2 30 AUG 2007 19:46

2 771 Justus Koech KEN KEN 1:44.16 1:44.86
3 1070 Ivan Heshko UKR UKR 1:45.41 1:47.41
4 428 Gary Reed CAN CAN 1:43.93 1:44.03
5 850 Arnoud Okken NED NED 1:45.64 1:45.88
6 984 Aunese Curreen SAM SAM 1:49.61 1:49.61
7 342 Jeff Riseley AUS AUS 1:46.35 1:46.35
8 309 Nabil Madi ALG ALG 1:44.54 1:44.54
9 518 Antonio Manuel Reina ESP ESP 1:43.83 1:45.32

Heat 3 30 AUG 2007 19:52

2 408 Rashid Ramzi BRN BRN 1:44.05  
3 401 Fabiano Peçanha BRA BRA 1:44.60 1:44.60
4 502 Eugenio Barrios ESP ESP 1:44.84 1:46.48
5 464 Yeimer López CUB CUB 1:44.58 1:44.58
6 949 Dmitriy Bogdanov RUS RUS 1:44.33 1:45.53
7 938 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA RSA 1:42.89 1:43.74
8 853 Bram Som NED NED 1:43.45 1:45.61
9 1025 Mattias Claesson SWE SWE 1:46.46 1:46.57

Heat 4 30 AUG 2007 19:58

2 376 Fadrique Iglesias BOL BOL 1:48.16 1:48.27
3 514 Manuel Olmedo ESP ESP 1:45.15 1:45.15
4 682 David Campbell IRL IRL 1:46.05 1:46.05
5 605 Michael Rimmer GBR GBR 1:45.17 1:45.17
6 780 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN KEN 1:43.89 1:45.91
7 1134 Khadevis Robinson USA USA 1:43.68 1:44.27
8 1162 Eduar Villanueva VEN VEN 1:48.05 1:48.05
9 798 Dmitrijs Milkevics LAT LAT 1:43.67 1:44.37

Heat 5 30 AUG 2007 20:04

2 1007 Abubaker Kaki SUD SUD 1:45.22 1:45.22
3 950 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS RUS 1:42.47 1:44.38
4 765 Wilfred Bungei KEN KEN 1:42.34 1:44.14
5 811 Yassine Bensghir MAR MAR 1:45.89 1:46.03
6 485 Mahamoud Farah DJI DJI 1:47.53 1:47.53
7 785 Mohammed Obaid Al-Salhi KSA KSA 1:43.99 1:44.88
8 986 Abdoulaye Wagne SEN SEN 1:45.08 1:46.12
9 760 Masato Yokota JPN JPN 1:48.42 1:49.51

Heat 6 30 AUG 2007 20:10

2 1063 Abraham Chepkirwok UGA UGA 1:44.78 1:44.78
3 794 Mohammad Al-Azemi KUW KUW 1:44.13 1:44.55
4 843 Souleymane Ould Chebal MTN MTN 1:56.07 2:03.82
5 814 Mouhssin Chehibi MAR MAR 1:44.16 1:45.52
6 1041 Samwel Mwera TAN TAN 1:45.28 1:46.59
7 405 Yusuf Saad Kamel BRN BRN 1:43.11 1:43.87
8 1020 Jozef Repcìk SVK SVK 1:46.43 1:46.45
9 1138 Duane Solomon USA USA 1:45.69 1:45.69

Event Preview: Men’s 800m Qualifying

Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy starts as favourite to land an elusive World two-lap title.

The enigmatic Russian won silver medals at the last two World Championships in Paris and Helsinki, using his familiar late charging  tactics and relying on his lightning kick-finish in an effort to snatch victory.

Throughout his career Borzakovskiy has shown little sign of deviating from this approach and it will be fascinating to see if the man ranked ninth on the 2007 world list with a best of 1min 44.38sec can strike gold in Osaka.
South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi set a world leading time of 1:43.74 when winning in Monaco last month and the 2003 World bronze medallist hinted at improving strength by setting a national record of 2:15.86 for the 1000m in Stockholm, his last outing before the championships.

Billy Konchellah was twice a World champion in 1987 and 1991, but can his son match the feat? Youssef Saad Kamel - formerly Gregory Konchellah - represents Bahrain and is now the Asian Games champion with a best time of 1:43.87.

Kenya is seeking its first World 800m gold since Paul Ruto’s triumph in Stuttgart 14 years ago and their main hope is the vastly experienced Wilfred Bungei. The 27-year-old has raced sparingly this summer, but the 2001 World silver medallist will hope his more restrictive race programme could pay dividends come Sunday’s final.

Amine Laalou, the world No4, is another who has limited his racing this season, but the Moroccan record-holder has a 1:43.94 time behind him this year and will certainly be looking to go one better than his semi-final appearance of two years ago.

The United States has snared only two bronze medals in this event – Mark Everett in 1991 and Rick Kenah in 1997 – but there are high hopes for Khadevis Robinson. The 31-year-old Californian recorded a season’s best of 1:44.37 to win the national title in Indianapolis and makes his fifth successive World Championship appearance.

Canadian record-holder Gary Reed boasts a 2007 best of 1:44.03 and sits fifth on the world lists. Reed has prepared diligently for these championships and it would be no surprise if he bettered his eighth place finish in the 2005 final.

Mohammed Al-Salhi, 21, is another with a genuine gold medal chance. The consistent Saudi Arabian has won four of six races this season including the at the Asian Championships and Golden League meeting in Rome.

Watch out too for 18-year-old prodigy Abraham Chepkirwok. The Ugandan triumphed in Dakar and Hengelo earlier in the season and finished an impressive third in Oslo in June.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sl




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