Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve
  Attending IAAFWC, Just A Dream Months Ago
  Back on German Soil
  A Great Day In Weimar
  18 Hours Before the Meet
  August 15
  Barringer Offers Heart Checkup
  Cantwell Got Things Started
With A Big Throw
Nick Symmonds Advances to 800 Final at World Championships

By Steve Ritchie - Special to the Statesman Journal
August 21, 2009
Nick Symmonds

BERLIN - A major deluge hit Olympic Stadium in Berlin an hour before Nick Symmonds was scheduled to run his semi-final heat of the 800 meters. It must have been a good omen.

Symmonds avoided a major collision, and went on to win his heat in impressive fashion in a time of 1:45.96. With his first place finish, Symmonds automatically qualified for the finals which will be held on Sunday evening here.

The former Willamette standout and Springfield resident becomes the first American to make the 800 final at the World Championships since 1997, when Rich Kenah and Mark Everett made the final, and Kenah won the bronze medal.

The collision took place on the first lap as the runners, bunched in a tight pack, were rounding the second turn about 250 meters into the race. Symmonds, who had started slowly as he usually does, was trailing the pack by a couple of meters.

Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, one of the favorites, was leading when his ankle was accidently clipped by a runner behind him, Bram Som of the Netherlands, which caused Kaki to lose his balance. As he went down, he took Som with him, and a third runner, Marcin Lewandowski of Poland also fell.

Symmonds alertly side-stepped all three fallen runners, and, as he did, saw a gap in the pack and shot through it to the lead. As it turned out, that was the key move of the race. Once Symmonds had the lead, he never gave it up, running hard to the line ahead of Jackson Mumbwa Kivuva of Kenya.

"That doesn't happen that often and when it does you've got to try to take advantage of it," said Symmonds after the race. "I tried to athletically get around them and shoot that gap and keep my cool for 500 meters. As an amateur, I might have hesitated and hesitation will kill you in a race like the 800."

Appeals were filed on behalf of all three runners who fell, and Lewandowski and Som were reinstated and will run in the final. Kaki was evidently not reinstated, but no official explanation had been given as of
midnight Friday.

Symmonds was feeling confident heading into Sunday's final."I feel fantastic right now. It's anybody's race in the 800 - we've seen it a hundred times. With my tactics and my experience now, I think I can be one of the guys up there in the hunt.


Featured articles:
A Favorite Memory of
Hayward Field

The 1972 Olympic Trials stand
out more than any other meet I
can recall at Hayward. This was
the first Trials to be held in
Eugene... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the 27th...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Stage Set for Beijing as Memorable Olympic Trials Conclude in Eugene

After a steady diet of track and field at the U.S. Olympic Trials
in Eugene for the past 10 days,
I pondered the question: (more)

©2010. All Rights Reserved . No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

counter for wordpress