Kenyan trio through to 1500m semis at Olympics

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The Kenyan trio in the men’s 1500m is through to the semifinals after qualifying from the heats with Timothy Cheruiyot cruising to a second-place showing in his heat with a time of 3:36.0.

Ismael Debjani of Belgium won that heat in 3:36.00, followed by the reigning world champion and Australian Oliver Hoare was third in 3:36.09.

Abel Kipsang took Heat Two in a slow 3:40:68 while Charles Simotwo finished tenth in Heat Three after clocking 3:37.26.

American Matthew Centrowitz, the defending champion, also sailed through after finishing second behind Kipsang in his qualifying heat with a time of 3:41.12.

Fresh from winning gold in the Olympic men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase on Monday night, Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali failed to finish his heat.

Cheruiyot, a late addition to Team Kenya after failing to qualify at the Kenyan Olympic trials, is the favorite to win gold.

The semifinals will be held Thursday, with the final Saturday.

In the women’s 400m, Hellen Syombua clocked 52.70 seconds to finish fifth in her heat and thus miss out on a semi final spot.

Later in the afternoon will be the men’s 5000m heats with the Kenyan trio of Nicholas Kimeli, Daniel Simiu and Samuel Chebole in action.

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