The men’s 1,500m was a battle from the first steps in Tokyo. None of the Rio medalists made it to the finals. The pace was furious, 56.4, 1:51.8, 2:33 at 1100m. Tim Cheruiyot did all he could, but he could not hold off Jakub Ingebrigtsen, and barely held off Josh Kerr.
Next, year, Eugene and the field will be even tougher. Joe Zochert wrote this piece on the Men’s 1,500m, as we reconsider Tokyo, looking forward to the rest of the 2021 Diamond League season and 2022 Eugene.
A most excellent Men’s 1,500m: considering the Tokyo Men’s 1,500m, by Joe Zochert for RunBlogRun
TOKYO, Japan — Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen made a gutsy move on the final curve to win his first Gold medal in the men’s 1500m final while setting an Olympic record of 3:28.32 in his first-ever Olympic games.
Ingebrigtsen, 20, broke the Olympic record two days after Kenya’s Abdel Kipsang set it two days ago in the semifinals round. Kipsang narrowly missed the podium as he finished in fourth place with a 3:29.56.
Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot narrowly escaped Great Britain’s Josh Kerr for Silver with a 3:29.01. Cheruiyot, the 2019 World Champion, got on the podium for the first time in his first ever Olympic games.
Cheruiyot has had Ingebrigtsen’s number for a while. According to World Athletics, Cheruiyot has won 12 out of 13 races against Ingebrigtsen. On the biggest stage, Ingebrigtsen seemed to have exorcised any demons he had as he pulled away with about 150m left in the race.
Kerr ran a 3:29.05 to get Bronze, Kerr overtook Kipsang with a little over 50m left on the homestretch, while almost getting Silver as Cheruiyot was just a step ahead of him.
The entire race had a record-setting pace as the top 6 finishers would have broken Kipsang’s two-day-old Olympic record of 3:31.65. Overall, there were six personal bests among the 13 person field.
Cole Hocker, the NCAA Champion, finished sixth place in his first-ever Olympic games clocking a personal best 3:31.40. Hocker, 20, was the lone American in the final.
This race showed that this event has a bright future as five of the top six finishers are 25 or younger.
With the Paris Games just three years away, one can only hope that all of these runners will put on a race of a lifetime again.