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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Women's 1500 m



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top three in each heat and three two fastest advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 21, 2008  
Date Finished: August 23, 2008  
(Competitors: 33, Nations: 18, finalists: 12)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
Three top Russians were suspended for doping offences earlier in the year, leaving Jamal, the World Champion, favourite. She (4:05.14), Lishchynska (4:13.60) and Langat (4:03.02) were the heat winners. The final began slowly, with Anna Alminova (RUS) leading with 65.90 at 400m and 2:13.70 at 800m. All medal contenders were in touch, except Commonwealth Champion Dobriskey in ninth place. Jamal then went to the front and passed the bell in 3:02.0 just ahead of Langat (3:02.2) and Lishchinska (3:02.4). With just under 300m to go, Langat attacked, and with 200m to go was a metre up on Jamal. Off the final curve and the Kenyan’s lead was nearer 3m; Jamal was thereafter treading water, and covered her last 100m in 17.1, more than two seconds slower than the winner. Lishchynska held off her compatriot Tobias and Dobriskey, who had the fastest last 100m (14.5) of all. Of the three Ukrainian finalists, only Lishchynska failed to run a lifetime best, while Langat was the first Kenyan woman to place in the top eight of an Olympic 1500m final.
Summary by      
Prior to the Olympics, the Russians were expected to challenge for the medals in this event. But the entire Russian athletics team was roiled by multiple doping irregularities, and their three top 1,500 women were eliminated – Yelena Soboleva, 2008 indoor World Champion and 2007 World silver medalist; Yuliya Fomenko (Chizhenko-), 2008 indoor silver medalist; and Athina silver medalist Tatyana Tomashova. They had not actually tested positive but were found to have substituted clean urine at doping control, and when found out, were banned for two years. The favorite's role fell to Ethiopian-born Bahraini Maryam Jamal, the 2007 World Champion, but the event was open. The final was led for two laps by the lone remaining Russian women in the event, Anna Alminova. Jamal took the lead on the homestraight of the third lap, planning a sustained kick. But at 1,250 m., Nancy Langat burst to the front, and ran her last 200 in 29.4 to win the gold medal by over 10 metres. Jamal fell back to fifth. Langat was little-known, her last major international title being the World Junior title at 800 back in 2000.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record  Qu Yunxia (CHN) 3:50.46 Beijing, China 11 September 1993
Olympic record  Paula Ivan (ROU) 3:53.96 Seoul, South Korea 1 October 1988

No new world or Olympic records were set for this event.


The women's 1500 metres at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place from 21–23 August at the Beijing National Stadium.

The qualifying standards were 4:07.00 (A standard) and 4:08.00 (B standard).

This event was hit hard by the Russian doping scandal on 31 July 2008, as all three Russian entrants, Yuliya Fomenko, Tatyana Tomashova and Yelena Soboleva, were suspended from competition.[3] These athletes were three of the favourites to take the medals in Beijing.

Women's 1500m - FINAL


Prior to Beijing, no Kenyan woman had struck Olympic gold. As the Games conclude, they’ll be taking home two. The first, by 800m sensation Pamela Jelimo wasn’t a big surprise. Bu their second, Nancy Jebet Langat in the 1500m, certainly was.

Only third at the Kenyan Trials early last month and just one victory under belt this season, the 27-year-old, whose only note of distinction came at the 2000 World junior championships where she won the 800m title, wasn’t even included in the Olympic preview stories of veteran Kenyan journalists. But she won’t be omitted any more.

Passing World champion and heavy favorite Maryam Yusuf Jamal with 220 metres to go, Jebet Langat stormed to an overwhelming 4:00.23 victory.

“I’m very proud I was able to win,” said Jebet Langat, who stopped the clock in a personal best. “”I was not expecting it that much.”

Apparently, neither was Jamal.

Forced into pacing duty from the gun, Russian Anna Alminova brought the field through the first lap in 1:05.90 and 800 in 2:13.70, setting up the race as a kicker’s battle. Jamal, clearly not happy with the sluggish pace, made the first significant move with about 500 metres to go, upping the tempo to jump to a two step lead at the bell. But Langat followed. When she moved to the front with just over half a lap to go, she remained in Jamal’s sights, the Bahraini seemingly waiting to strike again down the homestretch. But Jamal was unable to respond. Indeed, clearly struggling, she wasn’t even able to defend her runner-up position.

Osaka bronze medallist Iryna Lishchynska of Ukraine was the first to pass the fading Bahraini to take claim silver in 4:01.63. Looking to her outside, Jamal watched in disbelief as she was then passed by Natalya Tobias, whose 4:01.78 career best secured two podium finishes for Ukraine. Briton Lisa Dobriskey also went by taking fourth in 4:02.10, also a PB, before Jamal finally crossed the line in 4:02.71.

“It just makes me feel great,” Langat said, because I wasn’t expected to win.” Langat’s was not only the first Kenyan medal in the event. She was the first from the east African powerhouse to ever finish in an Olympic final’s top-8.

Lischynska too was satisfied with a runner-up finish that vividly illustrated that she is at the moment, one of the finest big-meet contenders in the world.

“I sacrificed a lot for this event,” she said. “Second place at the Olympics is beautiful.”

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

1500 m Women     Final 23 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 4.00.23     Nancy Langat Kenya KEN 22 Aug 81  
2 4.01.63     Iryna Lishchynska Ukraine UKR 15 Jan 76  
3 4.01.78     Nataliya Tobias Ukraine UKR 22 Nov 80  
4 4.02.10     Lisa Dobriskey Great Britain GBR 23 Dec 83  
5 4.02.71     Maryam Jamal Bahrain BRN 16 Sep 84  
6 4.03.19     Natalia Rodríguez Spain ESP 2 Jun 79  
7 4.03.58     Shannon Rowbury United States USA 19 Sep 84  
8 4.04.86     Iris María Fuentes-Pila Spain ESP 10 Aug 80  
9 4.05.13     Anna Mishchenko Ukraine UKR 25 Aug 83  
10 4.05.57     Siham Hilali Morocco MAR 2 May 86  
11 4.06.99     Anna Alminova Russia RUS 17 Jan 85  
12 4.07.25     Btissam Lakhouad Morocco MAR 7 Dec 80  

Women's 1500m - Semi-Finals


Running in relatively coolby Beijing standards, anyway – and misty conditions, Maryam Jamal and Iryna Lischynska, the Osaka World Championships gold and bronze medallists, breezed through the semi-finals to set up a classic rematch in Saturday (23) evening’s final.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian-born Bahraini controlled the race from the outset, running near the front for the first two laps. Ukraine’s Anna Mischenko led the field for the opening two laps (1:07.96/2:13.98), before Jamal took command at the bell, and was never headed en route to a 4:05.14 victory.

Australian Sarah Jamieson, running at the front through 1200m, began to fade badly heading off the final turn, with Spaniard Natalia Rodriguez taking full advantage. Rodriquez powered down the stretch to finish second, smiling and clapping as she crossed the line, second in 4:05.30 with Moroccan Siham Hilali third (4:05.36), to also qualify by right. Mischenko held on to finish fourth with a career best 4:05.61, to move on by time.

World junior champion Stephanie Twell of Great Britain, who made a brief move to join the leaders just beyond the midway point, faded later to finish sixth (4:06.68).

Four years ago in Athens Lischynska didn’t move on from the opening round, but tonight she certainly carried herself as one who belonged in an Olympic final.

African champion Gelete Burka, Moroccan Btisamm Lakhouad and Lischynska led a tight pack through a sluggish first lap (1:11.41), with Lischynska taking command at 800m, when the pace slowed even further (2:24.93) in heat 2.

Kenyan Viola Kibiwott took the lead at the bell but none would make a break heading in the final turn, ensuring a scrappy finish for the three automatic spots. With Lischynska (4:13.60) in control, Spaniard Iris Fuentes-Pila closed well off the final turn to finish second (4:41.34) with Lakhouad taking the final ticket to the final in 4:14.66. The major casualty of the round was Burka, who simply had nothing left down the home straight, finishing a distant fifth (415:.77).

Heat 3 began with a fleeting lead by China’s Liu Quing, but she was gradually reeled in to reality by the chase pack by 800m (2:11.44), lead by U.S. champion Shannon Rowbury and Russian Anna Alminova. Ukraine’s Nataliya Tobias joined the leaders at the bell, along with Kenyan Nancy Langat.

Langat took the lead with about 250m to go, one she would keep en route to her 4:03.02 win, the quickest performance of the evening. Tobias closed well to take second in 4:03.19, while Commonwealth champion Lisa Dobriskey of Great Britain confidently strode through the homestretch to finish third (4:03.22).

Rowbury (4:03.89) and Alminova (4:04.66) easily advanced by time.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

1500 m Women     Heat 1 21 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 4.05.14   Q Maryam Jamal Bahrain BRN 16 Sep 84  
2 4.05.30   Q Natalia Rodríguez Spain ESP 2 Jun 79  
3 4.05.36   Q Siham Hilali Morocco MAR 2 May 86  
4 4.05.61   Q Anna Mishchenko Ukraine UKR 25 Aug 83  
5 4.06.64     Sarah Jamieson Australia AUS 24 Mar 75  
6 4.06.68     Steph Twell Great Britain GBR 17 Aug 89  
7 4.07.33     Anna Jakubczak-Pawelec Poland POL 2 Feb 73  
8 4.09.70     Christin Wurth-Thomas United States USA 11 Jul 80  
9 4.09.92     Irene Jelagat Kenya KEN 10 Dec 88  
10 4.15.02     Konstadína Efedáki Greece GRE 1 Oct 78  
11 4.18.99     Nahida Touhami Algeria ALG 10 Feb 78  
1500 m Women     Heat 2 21 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 4.13.60   Q Iryna Lishchynska Ukraine UKR 15 Jan 76  
2 4.14.10   Q Iris María Fuentes-Pila Spain ESP 10 Aug 80  
3 4.14.34   Q Btissam Lakhouad Morocco MAR 7 Dec 80  
4 4.14.66     Susan Scott Great Britain GBR 26 Sep 77  
5 4.15.62     Viola Kibiwot Kenya KEN 22 Dec 83  
6 4.15.77     Gelete Burka Ethiopia ETH 15 Feb 86  
7 4.15.80     Agnes Samaria Namibia NAM 11 Aug 72  
8 4.16.05     Erin Donohue United States USA 8 May 83  
9 4.16.32     Lisa Corrigan Australia AUS 2 Dec 84  
10 4.19.57     Lidia Chojecka Poland POL 25 Jan 77  
11 5.05.76     Domingas Embana Togna Guinea-Bissau GBS 14 Jan 81  
1500 m Women     Heat 3 21 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 4.03.02   Q Nancy Langat Kenya KEN 22 Aug 81  
2 4.03.19   Q Nataliya Tobias Ukraine UKR 22 Nov 80  
3 4.03.22   Q Lisa Dobriskey Great Britain GBR 23 Dec 83  
4 4.03.89   Q Shannon Rowbury United States USA 19 Sep 84  
5 4.04.66   Q Anna Alminova Russia RUS 17 Jan 85  
6 4.08.37     Sylwia Ejdys Poland POL 15 Jul 84  
7 4.08.41     Renè Kalmer South Africa RSA 3 Nov 80  
8 4.08.52     Sonja Roman Slovenia SLO 11 Mar 79  
9 4.09.27     Liu Qing China CHN 28 Apr 86  
10 4.10.04     Meskerem Assefa Ethiopia ETH 20 Sep 85  
11 4.19.89     Bouchra Chaabi Morocco MAR 22 Sep 80  


Intermediate Athlete Country Mark
400m Anna Alminova  Russia 1:05.90
800m Anna Alminova  Russia 2:13.70
1200m Maryam Yusuf Jamal  Bahrain 3:16.41




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