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Athletics at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 25, 2000
Date Finished: September 29, 2000

Gold: KEN Noah Ngeny
Silver: MAR Hicham El Guerrouj
Bronze: KEN Bernard Lagat

Summary

Rivaling the loss by Aleksandr Karelin in heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling, this was the biggest upset of the Sydney Olympics. Many people were calling Hicham El Guerrouj the greatest miler in history. Between the 1996 and 2000 Olympics he had lost only two races, and only one over the 1,500/mile distance. He was the world record holder at 1,500 metres, the mile, and at 2,000 metres, and he was the world champion at this distance in 1997 and 1999. Noah Ngeny was a top quality runner and well-known, but he was given little chance to defeat El Guerrouj. Ngeny and El Guerrouj won the semi-final heats. Unusual for an Olympic 1,500 final, the race was run at a quick pace, with Moroccan Youssef Baba leading thru 54.14 and 1:54.77. El Guerrouj took the lead on the third lap, run in 56.8, but Ngeny was on his shoulder. With 25 metres to go, Ngeny took the lead and won two metres over El G, Kenya’s Bernard Lagat getting up for the bronze medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Noah Ngeny 21 Kenya KEN Gold OR
2 Hicham El Guerrouj 25 Morocco MAR Silver
3 Bernard Lagat 25 Kenya KEN Bronze
4 Mehdi Baala 22 France FRA
5 Kevin Sullivan 26 Canada CAN
6 Daniel Zegeye 21 Ethiopia ETH
7 Andrés Díaz 31 Spain ESP
8 Juan Carlos Higuero 22 Spain ESP
9 John Mayock 29 Great Britain GBR
10 Jason Pyrah 31 United States USA
11 Driss Maazouzi 30 France FRA
12 Youssef Baba 21 Morocco MAR
6 h1 r2/3 Julius Achon 23 Uganda UGA
7 h1 r2/3 Hailu Mekonnen 20 Ethiopia ETH
8 h1 r2/3 Hudson de Souza 23 Brazil BRA
8 h2 r2/3 Marko Koers 27 Netherlands NED
9 h1 r2/3 Michael Stember 22 United States USA
9 h2 r2/3 Gabe Jennings 21 United States USA
10 h1 r2/3 Andy Graffin 22 Great Britain GBR
10 h2 r2/3 Berhanu Alemu 18 Ethiopia ETH
11 h1 r2/3 José Antonio Rédolat 24 Spain ESP
11 h2 r2/3 Kamal Boulahfane 24 Algeria ALG
12 h1 r2/3 Noureddine Morceli 30 Algeria ALG
12 h2 r2/3 Mohamed Babiker Yagoub 23 Sudan SUD
7 h2 r1/3 Adil Kaouch 21 Morocco MAR
8 h1 r1/3 William Chirchir 21 Kenya KEN
8 h2 r1/3 Mohamed Khaldi 25 Algeria ALG
9 h1 r1/3 James Nolan 23 Ireland IRL
9 h2 r1/3 Vyacheslav Shabunin 30 Russia RUS
10 h1 r1/3 Darko Radomirović 23 Serbia and Montenegro SCG
10 h2 r1/3 Ivan Heshko 21 Ukraine UKR
11 h1 r1/3 Nick Howarth 24 Australia AUS
11 h2 r1/3 Alexis Sharangabo 21 Rwanda RWA
12 h1 r1/3 Branko Zorko 33 Croatia CRO
12 h2 r1/3 Chungu Chipako 29 Zambia ZAM
12 h3 r1/3 Ibrahim Mohamed Aden 27 Somalia SOM
13 h1 r1/3 Francis Munthali 27 Malawi MAW
13 h2 r1/3 José Luis Ebatela 27 Equatorial Guinea GEQ
13 h3 r1/3 Rui Silva 23 Portugal POR
14 h3 r1/3 Sidi Mohamed Ould Bidjel 18 Mauritania MTN
AC h2 r1/3 Tony Whiteman 28 Great Britain GBR