Kenya’s gold medal hopes in 1500m dashed in a bizarre race


Kenya’s hopes of a gold medal in the men’s 1,500 meters tumbled in the Maracana stadium track, with top prospect Asbel Kiprop finishing 6th in a race won by American Matthew Centrowitz Jr.

In a bizarre final occasioned by a pedestrian pace, Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi, the man with the 8th fastest time this year tumbled to ground as the athletes jostled for space in a crowded pack in the midst of a slow paced race. Kwemoi managed to get up, but it was evident this took a toll on him as he finished last.

A gold medal stood between Kiprop and history as victory would have seen him join the legendary Sebastian Coe as the only two men to have won two gold medals in the race.

Kiprop won the 2008 gold medal in Beijing even though he finished second in the race. This was after the initial winner Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was stripped off the medal for using performance boosting steroids.

Great Britain remains the most successful country in the 1,500 meters at the Olympics, having won a total of 6 gold medals. Kenya sits second with 5 gold medals.