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Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

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Title: Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Bernard Lagat, Hicham El Guerrouj, 1500 metres at the Olympics, Algeria at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Collection: 1500 Metres at the Olympics, Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
Venue Athens Olympic Stadium
Dates 20–24 August
Competitors 43 from 29 nations
Winning time 3:34.19
Gold medal    Morocco
Silver medal    Kenya
Bronze medal    Portugal
Athletics at the
2004 Summer Olympics
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men women
5000 m men women
10,000 m men women
100 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men women
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men women
Road events
Marathon men women
20 km walk men women
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men women
High jump men women
Pole vault men women
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men women
Combined events
Heptathlon women
Decathlon men
Wheelchair races

The men's 1500 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from August 20 to 24.

The first round comprised three heats with the first five gaining a direct qualification and then the next nine fastest across all heats progressing to the semifinals. The top five runners in each of the two semifinal heats moved on directly to the final, and they were immediately joined by the next two fastest from any of the semifinals.

World record holder Hicham El Guerrouj came into the race with a target on his back. Though El Guerrouj had won four straight World Championships, he had failed to win the previous Olympics, falling with a lap to go in his breakthrough year of 1996 and being beaten to the line in 2000 by the same Noah Ngeny who had chased El Guerrouj to the mile world record a year earlier. Ngeny was not back but bronze medalist Bernard Lagat was, seeking to finally beat El Guerrouj. Lagat had the potential assistance of two Kenyan teammates, but El Guerrouj also had his teammate Adil Kaouch make the final and Kaouch had previously sacrificed himself by acting as a pacesetter leading El Guerrouj to the 1999 and 2001 world titles. Because of the assistance, El Guerrouj's ability in a strategic race was suspect.

Off the line, the three Kenyan runners took the lead and formed a wall keeping the field behind as they slowed the pace, El Guerrouj could not run away from the start, the race would be strategic. With 500 metres to go, El Guerrouj worked his way to the front, with a line of kickers including Lagat, Reyes Estevez, Ivan Heshko and the unknown Mulugeta Wendimu lined up behind him. Down the backstretch, Lagat stayed a step behind El Guerrouj as other speedsters jockeyed for position and then fell back. From deep in the pack (dead last with less than 500 metres to go), Rui Silva was on the outside passing the others. Around the final turn, Lagat edged his way closer to El Guerrouj, pulling even just at the head of the stretch, with Silva gaining to just a step behind. By halfway down the home stretch, Lagat edged into the lead, but El Guerrouj did not go away, fighting back to take the win as Lagat gave up the fight a couple of steps before the line.[1][2] After clearly running the fastest last lap, Silva was unable to make any further headway, celebrating his bronze medal as he finished.

Four days later, El Guerrouj outsprinted 10000 metres gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele to take the 5000 metres gold medal and never competed internationally again, officially retiring in 2006.


  • Records 1
  • Qualification 2
  • Schedule 3
  • Results 4
    • Round 1 4.1
      • Heat 1 4.1.1
      • Heat 2 4.1.2
      • Heat 3 4.1.3
    • Semifinals 4.2
      • Semifinal 1 4.2.1
      • Semifinal 2 4.2.2
    • Final 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3:26.00 Rome, Italy 14 July 1998
Olympic record  Noah Ngeny (KEN) 3:32.07 Sydney, Australia 29 September 2000

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 1500 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 3:36.20 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 3:38.00 or faster could be entered.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)
Date Time Round
Friday, 20 August 2004 19:40 Round 1
Sunday, 22 August 2004 21:50 Semifinals
Tuesday, 24 August 2004 23:40 Final


Round 1

Qualification rule: The first five finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next nine fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the semifinals.[3]

Heat 1

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco 3:37.86 Q
2 Rui Silva Portugal 3:37.98 Q
3 Álvaro Fernández Spain 3:38.34 Q
4 Kamal Boulahfane Algeria 3:38.59 Q
5 Isaac Kiprono Songok Kenya 3:38.89 Q
6 Kevin Sullivan Canada 3:39.30 q
7 Michal Šneberger Czech Republic 3:39.68 q
8 James Nolan Ireland 3:41.14 q
9 Wolfram Müller Germany 3:46.75
10 Mounir Yemmouni France 3:51.08
11 Grant Robison United States 3:53.66
12 Roberto Mandje Equatorial Guinea 4:03.37 NR
13 Peter Roko Ashak Sudan DNS

Heat 2

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Reyes Estévez Spain 3:39.71 Q
2 Bernard Lagat Kenya 3:39.80 Q
3 Nick Willis New Zealand 3:39.80 Q
4 Adil Kaouch Morocco 3:39.88 Q
5 Mulugeta Wendimu Ethiopia 3:39.96 Q
6 Gert-Jan Liefers Netherlands 3:40.10 q
7 Hudson de Souza Brazil 3:40.78 q
8 Johan Cronje South Africa 3:40.99 q
9 Alan Webb United States 3:41.25
10 Aleksandr Krivchonkov Russia 3:41.37
11 Abdulrahman Suleiman Qatar 3:42.00
12 Mohamed Khaldi Algeria 3:42.47
13 Mehdi Baala France 3:46.06

Heat 3

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Michael East Great Britain 3:37.37 Q
2 Timothy Kiptanui Kenya 3:37.71 Q
3 Ivan Heshko Ukraine 3:37.78 Q
4 Rashid Ramzi Bahrain 3:37.93 Q
5 Tarek Boukensa Algeria 3:37.94 Q
6 Juan Carlos Higuero Spain 3:38.36 q
7 Youssef Baba Morocco 3:38.71 q
8 Manuel Damião Portugal 3:39.94 q
9 Charlie Gruber United States 3:41.73
10 Branko Zorko Croatia 3:48.28
11 Dou Zhaobo China 3:50.28
12 Neil Weare Guam 4:05.86
13 Jimmy Anak Ahar Brunei 4:14.11
14 Samwel Mwera Tanzania DNS


Qualification rule: The top five finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next two fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the final.[4]

Semifinal 1

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Adil Kaouch Morocco 3:35.69 Q
2 Bernard Lagat Kenya 3:35.84 Q
3 Gert-Jan Liefers Netherlands 3:36.00 Q
4 Reyes Estévez Spain 3:36.05 Q
5 Ivan Heshko Ukraine 3:36.20 Q
6 Michael East Great Britain 3:36.46 q
7 Isaac Kiprono Songok Kenya 3:37.10 q
8 Manuel Damião Portugal 3:37.16
9 Hudson de Souza Brazil 3:38.83
10 James Nolan Ireland 3:42.61
11 Rashid Ramzi Bahrain 3:44.60
12 Tarek Boukensa Algeria DNF

Semifinal 2

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco 3:40.87 Q
2 Rui Silva Portugal 3:40.99 Q
3 Timothy Kiptanui Kenya 3:41.04 Q
4 Mulugeta Wendimu Ethiopia 3:41.14 Q
5 Kamal Boulahfane Algeria 3:41.27 Q
6 Nick Willis New Zealand 3:41.46
7 Álvaro Fernández Spain 3:42.01
8 Juan Carlos Higuero Spain 3:42.13
9 Kevin Sullivan Canada 3:42.86
10 Youssef Baba Morocco 3:42.96
11 Johan Cronje South Africa 3:44.41
12 Michal Šneberger Czech Republic 3:47.03



Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco 3:34.19
Bernard Lagat Kenya 3:34.30
Rui Silva Portugal 3:34.68
4 Timothy Kiptanui Kenya 3:35.61
5 Ivan Heshko Ukraine 3:35.82
6 Michael East Great Britain 3:36.33
7 Reyes Estévez Spain 3:36.63
8 Gert-Jan Liefers Netherlands 3:37.17
9 Adil Kaouch Morocco 3:38.26
10 Mulugeta Wendimu Ethiopia 3:38.33
11 Kamal Boulahfane Algeria 3:39.02
12 Isaac Kiprono Songok Kenya 3:41.72


  1. ^  
  2. ^ McMullen, Paul (24 August 2004). "3rd time proves golden charm for El Guerrouj".  
  3. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Heats".  
  4. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Semifinals".  
  5. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 1500m Final".  

External links

  • IAAF Athens 2004 Olympic Coverage
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