Centrowitz, Andrews, Blankenship Qualify for Men's 1500m Semifinal
Matthew Centrowitz, Robby Andrews and Ben Blankenship cruised into the Olympic 1500m semifinals this morning from their respective preliminary heats.
Centrowitz and Andrews finished fifth and third, respectively, in their sections to automatically advance. Blankenship was only ninth in the third and fastest prelim, but had the quickest time among the three Americans and earned a spot in the semifinal.
This should come as no surprise, as the U.S. has seen great success in the men's 1500m since Centrowitz won bronze at the 2011 World Championships. In 2012, Leo Manzano was the Olympic silver medalist and Centrowitz was fourth. The Nike Oregon Project athlete then earned silver the following year at Worlds.
Last summer, Centrowitz, Manzano and Andrews advanced to the world championship final, but finished eighth, 10th and 11th, respectively. In Rio, the Americans will try and earn the second-consecutive Olympic 1500m medal in Rio.
Check out the start lists for the men's 1500m semifinal, which will take place on Thursday, August 18 at 6:45PM CST.
|Benson Kiplagat SEUREI||BRN||3:35.28||3:31.61|
|Elijah Motonei MANANGOI||KEN||3:31.19||3:29.67|
Abbey D'Agostino Shows Sportsmanship After Fall, Earns Spot in Final
Shelby Houlihan looked like a seasoned veteran and automatically advanced to the final of the women's 5K by placing fourth in her heat in 15:19.
Abbey D'Agostino experienced a different kind of Olympic debut.
D'Agostino suffered bad luck in the second preliminary heat. She was positioned toward the middle of the heavily crowded chase pack when Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand got tripped up, causing D'Agostino, who was directly behind Hamblin, to fall on top of her. First, D'Agostino helped Hamblin off the ground before falling back down on the track in pain. Hamblin stuck with the New Balance Boston athlete and returned the kindness.
Hamblin and D'Agostino bravely finished the race, limping, in 16:43 and 17:10, respectively.
Shortly after, USATF confirmed that D'Agostino was advanced to the final after a protest. Hamblin and Jennifer Wenth, who was impacted during the fall, also advanced.
Jon Gault of Letsrun reported that D'Agostino will be getting an MRI but was in good spirits after the race.
He also spoke with Hamblin, who praised D'Agostino and called her "The Olympic Spirit."
All photos by James Lang, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Newly crowned 10K gold medalist and World record-holder Almaz Ayana broke away from the race shortly after 2K in the second section. The Ethiopian ran 14:12 in June of this year and will likely target her second World record in the final. Tirunesh Dibaba currently holds the record, an astonishing 14:11.15 set in 2008.
Kim Conley finished 12th in 15:36.00. When the pace was ramped up, Conley and Houlihan were separated briefly from the leaders. Houlihan picked off competitors to advance, however Conley faded.
15:04.35 Almaz Ayana (ETH)
15:17.43 Senbere Teferi (ETH)
15:17.74 Vivan Cheruiyot (KEN)
15:17.83 Karoline Grovdal (NOR)
15:18.20 Eilish McColgan (GBR)
15:19.38 Hellen Obiri (KEN)
15:19.50 Yasemin Can (TUR)
15:19.56 Mercy Cherono (KEN)
15:19.76 Shelby Houlihan (USA)
15:19.96 Susan Kuijken (NED)
15:19.02 Eloise Wellings (AUS)
15:20.45 Genevieve LaCaze (AUS)
15:21.33 Madeline Heiner Hills (AUS)
15:23.41 Miyuki Uehara (JPN)
15:24.38 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH)
Other Athletes After Protest:
16:07.02 Jennifer Wenth (AUT)
16:43.61 Nikki Hamblin (NZL)
17:10.02 Abbey D'Agostino (USA)
The women's 5K final will take place Friday, August 19 at 7:40PM CST.
Christian Taylor, Will Claye Repeat Olympic Gold, Silver in Triple Jump
Former University of Florida teammates Christian Taylor and Will Claye dominated the Olympic triple jump final this morning in Rio. Remarkably, the two repeated their results from the 2012 London Olympics: Taylor took gold in the long jump, and Claye earned silver in the triple jump.
Taylor won his second-consecutive Olympic gold medal in his first jump, which also established a world-leading mark of 17.86m and stands as the third-farthest leap in Olympic history.
Claye also secured his silver Olympic medal in his first jump when he soared to 17.76m, a new personal best. After the feat, Claye ran into the stadium's stands and proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Queen Harrison.
This is the sixth time that two Americans swept the top two triple jump medals. Per athletics stat master Ken Nakamura, the U.S. also swept in 1900, 1904, 1984, 1992; however, this is the first time that the same pair of athletes accomplished the feat.