BEIJING, CHINA – Aiming for his third consecutive World Championship 1500 medal, Matthew Centrowitz put himself in a perfect position with 300 meters left.
However, when the sprinting began, Centrowitz couldn’t respond and finished in eighth place in 3:36.13. Defending champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya came from behind down the stretch to claim his third consecutive world title in 3:34.40.
The 25-year-old Centrowitz said that he ran a smart race, but physically just didn’t have it on this night.
“That one hurt,” Centrowitz said. “I put myself in a good position most of the race, and then with 300 to is when (Taoufik) Makhloufi made a good move. At that point I was just running all out and couldn’t respond.
“That was my best effort. It was everything I had. I was ready to go. No excuses. Like I said, that field was a quality, world-class field, probably one of the best fields that I’ve faced since I’ve been at a world championships.”
Centrowitz, a former Oregon star who is coached by Alberto Salazar in the Nike Oregon Project, won a bronze medal in his first world meet in Daegu, South Korea in 2011. In 2013 he captured silver in the 2013 championships in Moscow. Centrowitz said it was a definite disappointment to go home empty-handed from Beijing.
“The expectation coming in was definitely to get another medal, but I ran the best race I could possibly run.”
Leonel Manzano, silver medalist in the 2012 Olympics, was 10th and Robby Andrews was 11th in his world meet debut.
Despite a sizzling 47.8 third leg from Allyson Felix, the U.S. women’s 4 x 400 relay couldn’t hold off Jamaica, and had to settle for silver in 3:19.44. Former Duck Phyllis Francis did not run in the finals, but still earned a silver medal by running one of the relay legs for the U.S. team in the qualifying round.