Beijing Diary, August 17, 2008, Sanya Richards Moves on in 400 meters, US Men Shut out of 1,500 meter final by Larry Eder

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The key in the Olympics is to get through the rounds or the heats with as little damage as possible and with as little energy as possible. Unfortunately, in many of the events, one must run a personal best, as Anthony Famiglietti did in the steeplechase. Here, Sanya Richards keeps herself focused on the prize...On the men's 1,500 meter side, it was not a good night in the office, as fast distance running and tired miler do not mix...

Women's 400 meter semi finals

World champion Christine Ohuruogo of Great Britain ran her semi final the right way, focusing and taking the first qualifying position, running a seasonal best of 50.14. In second Shericka Williams of Jamaica ran 50.28, also her seasonal best. Tatiana Firova of Russia was the third qualifier here in 50.31 and in fourth, Aliann Pompey of Guyana ran 50.93, setting a national record. Mary Wineberg of the USA ran 51.13 for fifth and did not qualify for the final.

In the second semi final, Sanya Richards went out strong and by 300 meters was off the turn in the lead, running a 49.90 for first place in this second semi. Anastasia Kapachinskaya of Russia ran her personal best in 50.30 to move on to the final.

In the third semi final, Yulia Gushchina of Russia took first in 50.48. Amantie Montsho of Botswana took second in 50.54 and Rosemarie Whyte of Jamaica ran 50.63 for the final spot in the final. Osaka silver medalist Nicole Sanders was third in a seasonal best, but the 50.71 did not move the Brit to the final.

DeeDee Trotter ran 51.87 in seventh and the US runner did not advance.

Sanya Richards had these observations: " I did well in the first 300 metersand stayed relax from there....Christine Ohuruogu looked great in the first round..the final will be tough.."

That will be the race in my mind, Ohuruogo versus Richards. Should be alot of fun to watch!

Men's 1,500 meters semi finals


Ali Belai Mansoor of Bahrain took the field through 400 meters in 57.81 and the 800 meters in 2:00.53. Then, the race got going, as the pack hit 1,200 meters with Adbalaati Iguider of Morocco in the lead in 2:58.11. Iguider finished second in 3:37.21 with Asbel Kipruto KIprop of Kenya going by him for first in 3:37.04. Qualifying in third was Juan Carlos Higuero of Spain in 3:37.31, Christian Obrist of Italy in fourth in 3:37.47, Belai Mansoor Ali, the early leader, in fifth in 3:37.60.

Lopez Lomong ran tired at the back of the pack, running 3:41.00 for twelfth and did not move on.


In the second semifinal, Arturo Casado of Spain ran the 400 meters in 60.47, and lead at the 800 meters in 2:02.05, and fell back drastically through the crowd to finish eleventh in 3:41.57. Augustine KIprono Choge of Kenya had the lead at the 1,200 meters in 2:57.28, as the field just pushed the third lap, helped by two strong attempts by US' Leonel Manzano to take control, Manzano fell back to last in 3:50.33.

As the race heated up, Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain went by, and seems recovered from his 3:32 in the first round, winning here in 3:37.11. In second, Mehdi Baala of France, ran 3:37.47 looked good and is a medal contender. In third, Andy Baddedly of Great Britian continued his rise to world fame, running 3:37.47 for the third qualifying position here. Choge held on, taking fourth qualifying position in 3:37.54. Kiwi Nick Willis, staying out of trouble, took fifth in 3:37.54, holding off US's Bernard Lagat, the double gold medalist from Osaka, who did not have another gear today, running 3:37.79 for sixth place. Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia ran seventh in 3:37.85, the world indoor champion would not make the Olympic final.

Bernard Lagat, after his race, had this to say: " I gave it my all, I want to feel that I did not let my family down, I gave it everything I had."

The first two rounds of the men's 1,500 meters have been brutal, and there are many top athletes who will not go on. For the final, on Tuesday, at 10:50 pm, I am picking the following: Rashid Ramzi, Bahrian, Nick Willis, New Zealand, Mehdi Baali, France, and Mr.
Asbel Kiproto KIprop to spoil.

As Andy Baddeley put it, " Olympic final, here we go..." How true.

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