Justin Lagat has had some amazing comments over the past week, and it is just getting going!
Day 7: A night of exciting 1500m races and lessons to learn:
The shortest of all the track races that have more than ten runners running in it at a go is the 1500m event. There is a reason why they restrict the number of runners in 400m and 800m races, and why each one is assigned a lane to follow. It gives ample time and space for runners to avoid jostling and pushing as they seek the best positions to run in.
On the other hand, the 1500m race is often marred by athletes getting boxed into the inside lanes, getting tripped and being at the wrong place, be it at the back or at the front, at certain times in the race. This race is a combination of both speed and race tactics. One has to know when to be at a vantage position during the race and to react at the right time.
The men and women 1500m races on Day 7 of the world championships in Doha were exciting and offered great lessons for runners interested in the event.
One thing was evident in the men’s 1500m races, that perhaps this is one distance that is arguably the most competitive and in which new stars are quickly emerging given the close finishes and some surprising upsets. Jacob Ingebrigtsen won the first heat, Timothy Cheruiyot the second and Ayanleh Souleman the third.
Only a few micro-seconds saved Samuel Tafera, the world indoor champion and record holder over the 1500m indoor distance, from failing to advance to the semi-finals after finishing seventh in the first heat.
In the second heat, another Ethiopian, Taddese Lemi would also not have advanced to the semi-finals had his Federation not made an appeal following his fall with one lap to go after contact with Filip Ingebrigtsen. Mathew Ramsden of Australia also got to benefit from an appeal to proceed to the semifinals.
Sifan Hassan did show in the women’s first semi-final that with a great form one has a lot of options to avoid jostling with the others. She calmly remained behind everyone else in the race, probably to avoid getting tripped and to benefit from covering the shortest distance on the inside lane, and only ran past everyone else towards the end of the race to win it.
Jenny Simpson used her experience to stay at the right position in the second and fastest semi-final and only attacked when it mattered to win it in 4:00.99.