DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA – Nick Symmonds qualified for the 800 final at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships and will get his shot at the world’s best in that event on Tuesday evening.
Symmonds, the former Willamette star and Springfield resident, edged Russian Yuriy Borzakovskiy to win his semi-final race in 1:45.73. World record holder David Rudisha of Kenya had the day’s fastest time, 1:44.20.
Normally a kicker who comes from behind in races, Symmonds ran the race from an unfamiliar position – the lead. He said he was prepared to do that if the pace was too slow.
“I knew going in . . . it might go slow, and, if that was the case I knew I needed to be at the front with 400 to go . . . once I went to the front I just said don’t let anyone pass you and match every single move.”
Symmonds will be racing in the world championship 800 finals for the second time. He placed sixth in the 2009 championships, and said he is looking forward to another opportunity.
"I’m just glad to be there. You make the finals so many times and maybe one of these times it shakes out in your favor.
“I’ve been running well all year. I’m third fastest on paper going on in (to the finals). I feel really, really good.”