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Athletics at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Date Started: August 15, 2008
Date Finished: August 19, 2008

Gold: KEN Asbel Kiprop
Silver: NZL Nick Willis
Bronze: FRA Mehdi Baala

Summary

With the man considered by many as the greatest 1,500 metre/miler ever, Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj, now retired, the race was far more open. The favorites in his absence were likely Rashid Ramzi, a Moroccan now running for Bahrain, who had won the 800 and 1,500 at the 2005 World Championships, and America’s Bernard Lagat, the 2000 bronze medalist and 2004 silver medalist, and 2007 World Champion at both 1,500 and 5,000 metres. Lagat had qualified again for both the 1,500 and 5K. But in Beijing Lagat was hampered with a left Achilles’ tendon problem and did not get past the semi-finals. That left it open for Ramzi, who had not raced much in 2007 or 2008 and was a bit of a mystery. In the final, the lead was taken on the first lap by Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop who went thru 400 in 56.48. The pace was not fast enough to break up the field, and Kenya’s Augustine Choge led thru 1,200 in 2:53.67, with a group of runners close on his heels. Ramzi then sprinted to the lead on the backstretch. Kiprop also powered ahead and moved into second. He could never get past Ramzi who won by slightly over a stride, Kiprop winning the silver. New Zealand’s Nick Willis was never in the race early, 11th with a lap left and 8th with 300 left. But he closed very fast and moved up for the bronze medal.

Using new detection techniques, urine samples from the Olympics were retested in early 2009. Traces of CERA were found in the sample of Ramzi, which was announced in April. Tests of the B sample were also reported positive later in the year, and the IOC Executive Committee officially stripped the Bahraini of his title in November 2009. The other medals were redistributed, with France's Mehdi Baala receiving his bronze medal at a special ceremony in Paris in January 2010.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Asbel Kiprop 19 Kenya KEN Gold
2 Nick Willis 25 New Zealand NZL Silver
3 Mehdi Baala 29 France FRA Bronze
4 Juan Carlos Higuero 30 Spain ESP
5 Abdalaati Iguider 21 Morocco MAR
6 Juan van Deventer 25 South Africa RSA
7 Belal Mansoor Ali 19 Bahrain BRN
8 Andy Baddeley 26 Great Britain GBR
9 Augustine Choge 21 Kenya KEN
10 Daham Najim Bashir 28 Qatar QAT
11 Christian Obrist 27 Italy ITA
5 h2 r2/3 Bernard Lagat 33 United States USA
6 h2 r2/3 Deresse Mekonnen 20 Ethiopia ETH
7 h2 r2/3 Tarek Boukensa 26 Algeria ALG
8 h1 r2/3 Carsten Schlangen 27 Germany GER
8 h2 r2/3 Kevin Sullivan 34 Canada CAN
9 h1 r2/3 Nate Brannen 25 Canada CAN
9 h2 r2/3 Mohamed Moustaoui 23 Morocco MAR
10 h1 r2/3 Mulugeta Wendimu 23 Ethiopia ETH
10 h2 r2/3 Arturo Casado 25 Spain ESP
11 h1 r2/3 Antar Zerguelaine 23 Algeria ALG
11 h2 r2/3 Leo Manzano 23 United States USA
12 h1 r2/3 Lopez Lomong 23 United States USA
6 h2 r1/3 Goran Nava 27 Serbia SRB
7 h1 r1/3 Javier Carriqueo 29 Argentina ARG
7 h2 r1/3 Tom Lancashire 23 Great Britain GBR
7 h3 r1/3 Hudson de Souza 31 Brazil BRA
7 h4 r1/3 Thamer Kamal Ali 19 Qatar QAT
8 h1 r1/3 Reyes Estévez 32 Spain ESP
8 h2 r1/3 Alistair Cragg 28 Ireland IRL
8 h3 r1/3 Demma Daba 19 Ethiopia ETH
8 h4 r1/3 Mahamoud Farah 19 Djibouti DJI
9 h1 r1/3 Taylor Milne 26 Canada CAN
9 h2 r1/3 Hais Welday 18 Eritrea ERI
9 h3 r1/3 Tiidrek Nurme 22 Estonia EST
9 h4 r1/3 Chauncy Master 23 Malawi MAW
10 h1 r1/3 Youssef Baba 28 Morocco MAR
10 h2 r1/3 Mohammed Shaween 22 Saudi Arabia KSA
10 h3 r1/3 David Freeman 26 Puerto Rico PUR
10 h4 r1/3 Kamal Boulahfane 32 Algeria ALG
11 h1 r1/3 Vyacheslav Shabunin 38 Russia RUS
11 h2 r1/3 Mitch Kealey 24 Australia AUS
11 h3 r1/3 Nicholas Kemboi 18 Kenya KEN
11 h4 r1/3 Jeff Riseley 21 Australia AUS
12 h2 r1/3 Isaiah Msibi 24 Swaziland SWZ
12 h3 r1/3 Byron Piedra 25 Ecuador ECU
13 h3 r1/3 Abdalla Abdelgadir 21 Sudan SUD
AC Rashid Ramzi 28 Bahrain BRN DQ (doping)