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2005 World Championships in Athletics Helsinki, Finland

2005 10th IAAF World Championships - Helsinki - Men's 1500m



Host City: Helsinki, Finland Format: First round (First 5 & 9 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 6)
Dates: 6–14 August 2005 Format: Semi-finals (First 5 & 2 fastest to final) (Aug 8)
Nations participating: 196
Athletes participating: 1,891
    Main venue: Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Overview by IAAF   Helsinki Olympic Stadium 
The first heat saw Paris runner-up Baala outkick Boukensa 3:36.56 to 3:36.70, with a full 10 men qualifying for the next round. One of the favourites, Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, let himself be lulled by a slow pace in heat two, and missed qualifying by one place and 0.04. Ramzi, another favourite, and clearly in good form, could barely restrain himself as he ran 3:38.32 in the final heat. Kaouch won the first semi-final, the slowest for 12 years, in 3:40.51, with Nick Willis (NZL) and Baala the most notable of the eliminated. Webb pushed the pace in the other semi, as he had done in the first round, reaching 800m in 1:55.67, before Ramzi took over at the bell and again won by more than a second in 3:34.69. The final was a tactical race, with Estévez – contesting his fifth final – leading the field for two laps (2:03.78), before Webb surged through the next 100m in 12.3. The American led at the bell (2:43.69) before Ramzi went by, reaching 1200m in 2:57.52 after a 53.5 lap. Ramzi continued at the same rate with Heshko and Kaouch in hot pursuit.
 The Ukrainian faded in the finishing straight as Silva finished fastest of all with a 13.3 split for his last 100 [Ramzi 13.9 and Kaouch 13.7], but Ramzi’s combination of speed and strength gave him a well deserved victory. The four-time champion Hicham El Guerrouj – for whom Kaouch had paced in Seville and Edmonton – had effectively retired after winning Olympic gold in 2004.

The men's 1500 metres at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics was held on August 6, 8 and 10 at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.

With the retirement of defending champion, reigning Olympic Champion and World record holder Hicham El Guerrouj and Olympic silver medalist Bernard Lagat involved in citizenship issues as he moved to the United States, the role of favorite opened up to another Moroccan, Rashid Ramzi who had transplanted his citizenship to Bahrain while continuing to train in Morocco. Returning silver medalist Mehdi Baala didn't make it out of the semi-final round.

The race was led from the start, as it had been two years earlier, by Reyes Estévez who was known as a kicker, leading the field though a casual 60+ second first lap. Alan Webb marked Estévez, nervously trying to figure out a way to take the kick out of the faster runners. Rams added to his tension by coasting up to Webb's shoulder as the second lap began with the rest of the field bunching up behind. Just after the end of the second lap, Webb took off sprinting, timed in 12.3 between 800 and 900 meters. He opened up a four mere lead but Alex Kipchirchir and Ramzi followed by the rest of the field were in hot pursuit. Webb was unable to maintain his breakaway. In the penultimate turn he was passed by Ramzi who did have a breakaway, chased most closely by returning bronze medalist Ivan Heshko. Down the final backstretch Kipchirchir went by on the outside and Olympic bronze medalist Rui Silva squeezed by on the inside, Webb was cooked. From 9th place, deep in the field, Adil Kaouch began a final sprint, passing three as the slowing Webb was an obstacle. Continuing through the final turn, Kaouch passed everybody except Ramzi. Down the final stretch Ramzi's lead looked like it might not be enough but Ramzi was able to hold on for the win. Following Kaouch, Silva was also sprinting, after passing Heshko the medalists were decided. As Kaouch's gaining diminished he continued at his same pace, but Silva finished with an all out rush to the line missing the silver medal by a mere .02 of a second.

Lagat would return to competition to beat Ramzi to silver in 2007. But Ramzi took the Olympic gold medal in 2008. That gold was short lived as Ramzi was disqualified for having CERA in his system. While Ramzi's World Championship medals have not been disqualified, the Olympic disqualification puts a taint on Ramzi's accomplishments.

  1500m 10 August

Event Report - Men 1500m Final

Ramzi runs away with it

Rashid Ramzi lived up to his status as the fastest in the world this year when he won the men’s 1500m tonight in 3:37.88 giving Bahrain its first ever medal at an IAAF World Championships.

Ramzi attacked from 300m out and held off the challenge of Morocco’s Adil Kaouch and Portugal’s Rui Silva in the home straight. Those two fought a close battle for the silver, which Kaouch won in 3:38.00, two-hundredths ahead of Silva.

Bahrain has never even had a track finalist before at a world championships – its best position in any final was 44th in the women’s marathon two years ago. Indeed, it’s 22 years since it even had a semi-finalist.

“This medal is very important for me and my country,” said Ramzi. “I am very proud to be able to deliver this gold medal.”

The men’s 1500m has now been won by north Africans at every edition of the championships since Britain’s Steve Cram took the inaugural title here in Helsinki in 1983.

In the absence of Olympic gold and silver medallists, Hicham El Guerouj and Bernard Lagat, this was thought to be one of the most open events on the timetable. But Ramzi has been the best in the world this year and the field seemed to play into his hands, giving him an easy ride for the first half of the race then dragging the kick out of his rivals in the second half.

Spain’s Arturo Casado went to the front from the gun with USA’s Alan Webb on his shoulder. Then another Spaniard Reyes Estevez took over and led the bunched field through 400m in 60.73. Ramzi was comfortably off the pace in eighth place but away from the kerb so he could cover any movements up front.

After 700 metres Silva moved to Webb’s shoulder and Ramzi moved up the field. Then after two laps Webb took off, exploding from the front and immediately opening a gap of five metres on Estevez.

Kenya’s Alex Kipchirchir and then Ramzi followed with Ukraine’s Ivan Heshko also giving chase. Webb led at the bell, in 2:43.69, but Ramzi was now on his shoulder and poised to pounce. He attacked with 300m to go, dragging Heshko, Kipchirchir and Silva with him.

He kicked again 200m from home and led into the straight. Heshko began to fade as Kaouch and Silva – who had barely figured before now – moved to the outside. Ramzi was strong enough to hold them off but Heshko slipped back to fourth as Kaouch outdipped Silva on the line.

“I was hoping we would spread it out a little so I would have a bit more space to run my own race,” said Ramzi. “But I had to wait until the last lap to beat them with my speed.”

Silva had come from way down the field to take a bronze medal just as he did last year in last year’s Olympic final. Kaouch, once El Guerouj‘s pace maker, was now on the podium himself.

“I am not even tired at all,” he said.

“After a very difficult season I must be satisfied with this bronze medal,” said Silva. “I just tried to concentrate on my own race and not look at anyone else.”

1 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.37.88
2 Adil Kaouch MAR 1 Jan 79 3.38.00
3 Rui Silva POR 3 Aug 77 3.38.02
4 Ivan Heshko UKR 19 Aug 79 3.38.71
5 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.39.45
6 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.40.34
7 Alex Kipchirchir KEN 26 Nov 84 3.40.43
8 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.41.01
9 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.41.04
10 Dahame Najem Bashir QAT 8 Nov 79 3.43.48
11 Reyes Estévez ESP 2 Aug 76 3.46.65
12 Yassine Bensghir MAR 3 Jan 83 3.50.19
  Semifinals 8 August

Event Reports - Men 1500m Semi Final

Ramzi Shines, Baala out of Final

Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi confirmed his favourite tag with an impressive display to win the second semi in a swift 3min 34.69sec, but the big shock was medal hope Mehdi Baala’s failure to qualify for the final.

Spaniard Arturo Casado led the field for most of the first semi until he was overtaken in the final straight by Morroccan Adil Kaouch, but behind him there was a an almighty scrap for the five final places on offer where the French champion was found wanting.

Mediterranean Games champion Casado passed 400 metres in a steady 61.39 with Baala in mid-pack seemingly cruising. With two to go it was still the Spaniard out in front with the pack happy to follow in his wake. The 800m-mark was passed in an even slower 2:03.82 with Baala moving up to second, looking in control, followed by Kenyan Alex Kipchirchir, Markus Geneti of Ethiopia and New Zealand’s Nick Willis.

With one to go it was still Casado from Geneti, Baala, Kipchirchir, Willis and a lurking Rui Silva of Portugal and second Spaniard Reyes Estevez yet to make their move.  With the finish in sight Casado was still holding off the pack. In the scramble for places Kaouch came rushing past him with Kipchirchir, Silva and Reyes Estevez crowding the line while a desperate Baala was shunted back to eighth, his hopes gone.

The second semi was a different affair altogether. American champion Alan Webb decided to take no chances and made it hard from the gun. Covering the first lap in 58.83 it was already clear the two fastest losers would come from this heat. Extending his lead on lap two (57.29) Webb poured it on, passing the 800m mark in 1:55.57 with Ramzi finally deciding to join the American up front leaving a gap of some 15m to the pack. At the bell it was still Webb from Ramzi, but with 300m to go the Bahraini took off (41.97 last 300m), immediately opening up daylight over Webb who stayed out of danger to cross the line in second. In the rush Algerian Tarek Boukensaa, Bislett Games Mile winner Daham Najam Bashir of Qatar and Ukranian Ivan Heshko, bronze medallist from 2003, filled the qualifying spots pursued by Spaniard Juan Carlos Higuero and Morroccan Yassine Bensghir, fastest losers of the round who also went through to the final.
  Heat 1
1 Adil Kaouch MAR 1 Jan 79 3.40.51 Q
2 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.40.61 Q
3 Alex Kipchirchir KEN 26 Nov 84 3.40.68 Q
4 Rui Silva POR 3 Aug 77 3.40.72 Q
5 Reyes Estévez ESP 2 Aug 76 3.40.73 Q
6 Nick Willis NZL 25 Apr 83 3.40.87
7 Kevin Sullivan CAN 20 Mar 74 3.41.00
8 Mehdi Baala FRA 17 Aug 78 3.41.34
9 Youssef Baba MAR 7 Aug 79 3.42.12
10 Rob Myers USA 5 Aug 80 3.42.38
11 Johan Cronje RSA 13 Apr 82 3.42.77
12 Markos Geneti ETH 7 Jun 84 3.42.80
  Heat 2
1 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.34.69 Q
2 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.36.07 Q
3 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.36.14 Q
4 Dahame Najem Bashir QAT 8 Nov 79 3.36.38 Q
5 Ivan Heshko UKR 19 Aug 79 3.36.60 Q
6 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.36.65 q
7 Yassine Bensghir MAR 3 Jan 83 3.36.76 q
8 Chris Lukezic USA 24 Apr 84 3.37.20
9 Adrian Blincoe NZL 4 Nov 79 3.38.20
10 Nate Brannen CAN 8 Sep 82 3.39.37
11 Michael East GBR 20 Jan 78 3.40.27
12 Joeri Jansen BEL 28 May 79 3.44.88
  Heats 6 August

Event Report - Men 1500m Heats

Baala burns them off in 1500m heats

Mehdi Baala looks in form to turn his 2003 world 1500m silver medal into gold here in Helsinki. The Frenchman who finished second to Hiucham El Guerrouj in Paris was the fastest qualifier for the semi-finals on Monday evening, burning off his rivals in the first heat to clock the fastest time of the round, 3:36.56.

Baala benefited from the fast pace set by USA’s Alan Webb who hit the bell in 2:41.01. Baala took the lead 300m out and kicked ahead with ease, opening a gap of 10 metres as he entered the home straight and cruising through to the finish clear of the scramble for places behind him.

Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi will also be a strong contender for medals, although he may have to learn to run in a straight line before Wednesday’s final.

The 25-year-old, who has the fastest time in the world this year, produced a devastating kick to win the third heat in 3:38.32. He burst to the front 200m from home and swept down the finishing straight, veering across the track as he did so before crossing the line in lane seven and heading immediately up the steps and out of the stadium through the mixed zone.

Behind Ramzi five other men also ran under 3:40 meaning that Kenya’s Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, who was sixth in heat two in 3:41.91, does not go through. Komen, who won at the Golden League meeting in Paris earlier this year and is only a second slower than Ramzi on the world list, paid the price for allowing the pace to slow.

Despite entering the home straight in second place, he was caught by the charge for five automatic qualifying places over the closing metres. The race was won by Spain’s Arturo Casado in 3:41.64 while Komen finished sixth and failed to go through by three hundredths of a second.

In heat one, Webb was unlucky to miss out on one of the five automatic qualifying places, clocking the same time as Britain’s Michael East, 3:36.64, but that was easily quick enough for one of the nine fastest qualifying places.
  Heat 1
1 Mehdi Baala FRA 17 Aug 78 3.36.56 Q
2 Tarek Boukensa ALG 19 Nov 81 3.36.70 Q
3 Alex Kipchirchir KEN 26 Nov 84 3.36.74 Q
4 Kevin Sullivan CAN 20 Mar 74 3.36.80 Q
5 Michael East GBR 20 Jan 78 3.36.84 Q
6 Alan Webb USA 13 Jan 83 3.36.84 q
7 Yassine Bensghir MAR 3 Jan 83 3.37.11 q
8 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3 Aug 78 3.37.40 q
9 Joeri Jansen BEL 28 May 79 3.39.43 q
10 Adrian Blincoe NZL 4 Nov 79 3.39.54 q
11 Jonas Hamm FIN 2 May 80 3.43.20
12 Ahmed Mohamed Abdillahi DJI 26 Jan 81 3.50.92
13 Fumikazu Kobayashi JPN 21 Mar 78 3.51.76
  Heat 2
1 Arturo Casado ESP 26 Jan 83 3.41.64 Q
2 Adil Kaouch MAR 1 Jan 79 3.41.75 Q
3 Chris Lukezic USA 24 Apr 84 3.41.80 Q
4 Rui Silva POR 3 Aug 77 3.41.83 Q
5 Dahame Najem Bashir QAT 8 Nov 79 3.41.88 Q
6 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 27 Nov 84 3.41.91
7 Mounir Yemmouni FRA 12 Oct 83 3.42.39
8 Anter Zerguelaine ALG 4 Jan 85 3.43.02
9 Bilal Mansour Ali BRN 17 Oct 88 3.43.15
10 Hudson de Souza BRA 25 Feb 77 3.43.18
11 Nick McCormick GBR 11 Sep 81 3.44.40
12 Mulugeta Wondimu ETH 28 Feb 85 3.44.42
  Heat 3
1 Rashid Ramzi BRN 17 Jul 80 3.38.32 Q
2 Ivan Heshko UKR 19 Aug 79 3.39.84 Q
3 Nick Willis NZL 25 Apr 83 3.39.89 Q
4 Reyes Estévez ESP 2 Aug 76 3.39.93 Q
5 Markos Geneti ETH 7 Jun 84 3.39.94 Q
6 Youssef Baba MAR 7 Aug 79 3.39.96 q
7 Rob Myers USA 5 Aug 80 3.40.16 q
8 Nate Brannen CAN 8 Sep 82 3.40.69 q
9 Johan Cronje RSA 13 Apr 82 3.41.43 q
10 Augustine Choge KEN 21 Jan 87 3.41.70
11 James Nolan IRL 27 Jan 77 3.42.53
12 Armen Asryan ARM 9 Jan 82 4.03.21

Heat 1 06 AUG 2005 20:35

1 10 Tarek Boukensa ALG ALG 3:32.35 3:34.68
2 285 Jonas Hamm FIN FIN 3:40.45 3:41.44
3 862 Peter Roko Ashak SUD SUD 3:37.81  
4 619 Yassine Bensghir MAR MAR 3:35.04 3:35.04
5 559 Alex Kipchirchir Rono KEN KEN 3:30.46 3:30.82
6 58 Joeri Jansen BEL BEL 3:35.97 3:35.97
7 347 Michael East GBR GBR 3:32.37 3:33.32
8 308 Mehdi Baala FRA FRA 3:28.98 3:30.80
9 139 Kevin Sullivan CAN CAN 3:31.71 3:35.11
10 1046 Alan Webb USA USA 3:32.73 3:33.16
11 201 Ahmed Mohamed Abdillahi DJI DJI 4:02.85  
12 532 Fumikazu Kobayashi JPN JPN 3:37.42 3:40.15
13 702 Adrian Blincoe NZL NZL 3:35.65 3:35.65
14 233 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP ESP 3:31.61 3:34.44

Heat 2 06 AUG 2005 20:44

1 912 Alin Soares TLS TLS 4:10.0 4:12.0
2 764 Daham Najim Bashir QAT QAT 3:31.04 3:31.04
3 222 Arturo Casado ESP ESP 3:35.64 3:35.64
4 337 Mounir Yemmouni FRA FRA 3:32.97 3:33.39
5 563 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN KEN 3:30.01 3:30.01
6 100 Hudson de Souza BRA BRA 3:33.99 3:34.84
7 1005 Christopher Lukezic USA USA 3:35.22 3:35.22
8 16 Anter Zerguelaine ALG ALG 3:34.90 3:34.90
9 631 Adil Kaouch MAR MAR 3:32.86 3:45.78
10 904 Samwel Mwera TAN TAN 3:35.42 3:42.52
11 753 Rui Silva POR POR 3:30.07 3:32.91
12 276 Mulugeta Wendimu ETH ETH 3:31.13 3:37.00
13 111 Belal Ali Mansoor BRN BRN 3:33.86 3:33.86
14 361 Nick McCormick GBR GBR 3:35.74 3:35.74

Heat 3 06 AUG 2005 20:53

1 126 Nathan Brannen CAN CAN 3:36.00 3:36.00
2 778 Johan Cronje RSA RSA 3:35.58 3:35.58
3 555 Augustine Kiprono Choge KEN KEN 3:33.99 3:33.99
4 11 Kamel Boulahfane ALG ALG 3:32.44 3:35.22
5 113 Rashid Ramzi BRN BRN 3:30.00 3:30.00
6 22 Armen Asyran ARM ARM 3:56.90 3:56.90
7 226 Reyes Estévez ESP ESP 3:30.57 3:36.51i
8 1011 Rob Myers USA USA 3:34.89 3:34.89
9 704 Nick Willis NZL NZL 3:32.38 3:32.38
10 267 Markos Geneti ETH ETH 3:33.83 3:33.83
11 617 Youssef Baba MAR MAR 3:33.01 3:33.75
12 447 James Nolan IRL IRL 3:35.69 3:37.78
13 939 Ivan Heshko UKR UKR 3:30.33 3:32.13




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