It was one of the most incredible moments in the Olympic track & field program on Saturday night, as Matthew Centrowitz took down the worlds best to claim the gold medal in the 1500m. Not many experts would have predicted the finish to this one. The American ran a historic race in what proved to be the performance of his life.

How it happened

Coming into the race all eyes were on Asbel Kiprop and Taoufik Makhloufi. The two African runners were the favorites to battle it out for the gold medal. Centrowitz was also among the runners to watch, but was not being considered as a top contender for the gold.In the opening lap the 26-year-old Centrowitz was right near the front, however, it was an extremely slow pace for the first lap.

The slow lap immediately set the stage for what appeared would be a slow race with a fast finish down the homestretch. In other words, everyone had a shot at a medal.

The middle laps provided a messy bunch within the runners. Ronald Kwemoi took a spill with two laps to go as he was the only runner to take a tumble during the race. Kiprop and Makhloufi stayed out of trouble, with Centrowitz still positioned near the front.When the bell lap sounded the jostling for position began. Centrowitz led the pack through the homestretch and onto the backstretch where it appeared a move would be made on the American from the outside lane. However, he stood firm as he matched the oncoming pack with a strong finish of his own.

Makhloufi tried to kick him down, but it was not meant to be.

Centrowitz crossed the line in disbelief with a shocked look in his eyes. He becomes the first American to win the 1500m since 1908. A truly amazing accomplishment for the former University of Oregon runner.Makhloufi crossed the line in second place as he earns his second silver medal of the games.

Veteran runner Nicholas Willis took the bronze with a strong kick over the final 100 meters. Kiprop finished in sixth place.


1. Matthew Centroqwitz (United States) 3:50.00

2. Taoufik Makhloufi (Algeria) 3:50.11

3. Nicholas Willis (New Zealand) 3:50.24

4. Ayanleh Souleiman (Djibouti) 3:50.29

5. Abdalaati Iguider (Morocco) 3:50.58


Asbel Kiprop (Kenya) 3:50.87

7. David Bustos (Spain) 3:51.06

8. Ben Blakenship (United States) 3:51.09

9. Ryan Gregson (Australia) 3:51.39

10. Nathan Brannen (Canada) 3:51.45

11. Ronald Musagala (Uganda) 3:51.68

12. Charlie Grice (United Kingdom) 3:51.73

13. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya) 3:56.76

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