Three Kenyans Qualify For 1500m Semis In Tokyo
Three Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot, Abel Kipsang and Charles Simotwo early on Tuesday morning qualified for the semi finals in the men’s 1500m race as the Tokyo Olympics entered day twelve.
Cheruiyot, who is the reigning world champion, recorded the second fastest time in the heats clocking 3:36.01 to finish behind Belgium’s Ismael Debjani (3:36.00)
Abel Kipsang won Heat Two in a slow 3:40.68 while Charles Simotwo finished tenth in Heat Three after clocking 3:37.26.
Defending champion Matthew Centrowitz also qualified for the semi-final coming second behind Kipsang in a time of 3:41.12.
Ethiopian Samuel Tefera, who is the current World Indoor U-20 record holder, failed to qualify but his countrymen led by Teddese Lemi and Samuel Zeleke sailed through having clocked 3:36.26 and 3:41.63 respectively.
Djiboutian record holder Ayanleh Souleiman also squeezed though the final after clocking his seasonal best of 3:37.25.
Newly crowned 3000m Steeplechase Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali dropped out of the race in the final 200metres in what seemed to be an Achilles injury.
Other who failed to make the mark include South Sudan’s Abraham Guem, who finished his heat in a time of 3:40.83, Somalia’s Ali Idow Hassan (3:43.96), Anass Esayi of Morocco (3:45.92) and Equatorial Guinea champion Benjamin Enzema (3:48.17).
Uganda’s medal hopeful Ronald Musagala failed to finish the race and was stretched off the field after suffering a muscle injury in Heat Three.
The 28-year-old went to the race ranked number four in the world with a personal best of 3:30.58 that he clocked in 2019.
He was making a return to Olympics after the last edition of the events in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, where he finished 11th in the finals posting 3:51.68.