Mechaal, fifth in a stellar 1,500

Adel Mechaal, after playing the final of 1,500. / Juan Ignacio Roncoroni (Efe)

Tokyo 2020 | Athletics

The Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen beats the European record with 3.28.32, the first four drop from 3.30 and the Spanish improves his mark to 3.30.77

Igor Barcia

IGOR BARCIA Special Envoy to Tokyo

Saturday, 7 August 2021, 14:53

Adel Mechaal has curdled today the best 1,500 of his life. The Spaniard was fifth in a spectacular final, which has run at full speed and that has allowed him to make a personal best with 3.30.77. The duel between Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Thimoty Cheruiyot has been resolved in favor of the former, the Norwegian talent. who has won with astonishing ease after running at 3.28.32, a European record for the distance and of course an Olympic record. A final like this has never been seen, with those steps of 56.14 the 400, 1.51.76 the 800 and 2.20 the thousand. You just have to remember that the best Olympic record had been beaten in the semifinals with 3.31, but this time it has not seen a typical final, of control and tactical games. Here they have run at full speed.

First, he launched Ingebrigtsen up to 400 and then Cheruiyot undertook a work of wear and tear, thinking that it was the way to end the resistance of the youngest of the brothers, and the greatest in terms of talent. From seeing tactical finals, in a group, with touches and collisions, it has gone on to a race in a row, where the groups have begun to form when they had not reached the middle of the race. But it was clear that Cheruiyot had a plan and was going to execute it to the end. After Jakob and Australian McSweyn, who later paid his ambition and gave way to Josh Kerr and Abel Kipsang, who have become the alternatives to the leading duo, while Mechaal progressed in search of the vanguard positions.

However, the Kenyan’s aggressive tactics have been of no use to him, except to take the silver and the gratitude of a few rivals for the great marks they have made thanks to his rhythm. When he wanted to, Ingebrigtsen passed Cheruiyot as the champion passing a contender in a slow race, only he was overtaking the reigning world champion from distance. But the Norwegian talent did not care, it happened at the entrance to the straight, he looked at him, he left and he allowed himself the luxury of relaxing, because otherwise we do not know what brand we would be talking about.

Cheruiyot, Kerr and Kipsang, in that order, have dropped from 3.30 and the fifth, Mechaal, has made 3.30.77 after a very ambitious race. The Catalan has not been able to do his usual tactic of staying in line because the train was so fast that if he stayed in the caboose he would lose any option, so he has gone step by step, advancing, until the counter-goal has been placed fifth . He has looked very strong, but in front he had four athletes who have been superior, but despite everything, he has fought until the end to achieve a place and a brand that are finally at the height of his competitive level and quality . “With 250 to go, I have placed fifth and I have seen myself in the medals, because I thought that Kerr and Kipsang were going to explode, but they have held out and I have not been able to catch up. Anyway, I am very satisfied with this fifth place », has celebrated Mechaal

Ignacio Fontes, the other Spaniard in the final, was thirteenth with 3.38.56. «It has been a very tough race, where I have not been mentally up to the task. I started in front, but when I saw Jakob pass I have already seen what was coming and he had neither head nor legs to fight today ”, he admitted.

On the last day at the stadium, Sifan Hassan has scored her second gold after winning a 10,000 where the Ethiopian Gidey has carried the weight of the race but has paid for her lack of speed.

And in javelin the surprise has arrived, the triumph of the young Neeraj Chopra marks India’s first Olympic gold in athletics, throwing 87.58, ahead of the two Czech throwers, Vadlejch and Vesely.


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