06 MAR 2004 General News

Men 1500m Semi-Final

Laban Rotich and Ivan Heshko won their respective semi-finals in the men's 1500 metres, setting up a battle of swift kickers for tomorrow evening's final.

Rotich, the Kenyan indoor record holder, led almost the entire race, and with no one seemingly interested in testing him, the battle for the qualifying positions was behind him. Morocco's Abdelkader Hachlaf,bronze medallist in Birmingham last year, will make another finals appearance after finishing second in 3:41.75, with Commonwealth Games champion Michael East (3:41.86) in third.
 
With a powerful kick in the final 80 meters, Ukrainian record holder Ivan Heshko proved to be a solid gold medal favorite with his seemingly effortless 3:39.93 win.  James Thie finished second in 3:40.68, marking the first time a pair of British runners will appear in a world indoor championship final.  Spaniard Jose Antonio Redolat (3:40.70), Kenyan Paul Korir (3:40.75), Miroslaw Formela (3:41.22) and Youssef Baba (3:41.25) fill out the field.

The top three in each heat plus the three fastest losers advanced to tomorrow's finals.