1500 metres at the World Athletics Championships
The 1500 metres at the World Championships in Athletics has been contested by both men and women since the inaugural edition in 1983. It is the second most prestigious title in the discipline after the 1500 metres at the Olympics. The competition format typically has two qualifying rounds leading to a final between twelve athletes. It is one of two middle-distance running events on the programme, alongside the World Championship 800 metres.
at the World Championships in Athletics
Women racing in the 2009 semi-finals
|Gender||Men and women|
|Years held||Men: 1983 – 2019 |
Women: 1983 – 2019
|Men||3:27.65 Hicham El Guerrouj (1999)|
|Women||3:51.95 Sifan Hassan (2019)|
|Men||Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN)|
|Women||Sifan Hassan (NED)|
The championship records for the event are 3:27.65 minute for men, set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999, and 3:58.52 minutes for women, set by Tatyana Tomashova in 2003. The world record has never been broken or equalled at the competition by either men or women, reflecting the lack of pacemaking and athletes' more tactical approach to championship races.
Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco is the most successful athlete of the event through his four straight wins from 1997 to 2003, as well as a silver in 1995. Algeria's Noureddine Morceli is the next most successful athlete, with three gold medals. Two-time champion Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria is the only woman to have won three medals. Rashid Ramzi is the only athlete to have won both middle-distance titles, having done an 800 m/1500 m double at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. The first two women's champions Mary Decker and Tatyana Dorovskikh both completed 1500 m/3000 m World Championships doubles, while Bernard Lagat completed a 1500 m/5000 metres double at the 2007 World Championships. Steve Cram, the inaugural men's winner, is the only non-African-born man to win the World Championship event.
Algeria is the most successful nation in the discipline, having won five gold medals across the men's and women's event. Morocco and Bahrain each have won four gold medals, while Russia and the United States each have three. The United States has the highest total of medals in the events at twelve, with six in both in the men's and women's divisions. Kenya has the highest number of medals in the men's event, with a total of seven.
- All information from IAAF
|Distinction||Male athlete||Age||Female athlete||Age|
|Youngest champion||Noureddine Morceli||21 years, 185 days||Liu Dong||19 years, 241 days|
|Youngest medalist||Noah Ngeny||20 years, 295 days||Anita Weyermann||19 years, 240 days|
|Youngest participant||Yahye Abdi Gurre||16 years, 234 days[nb1]||Lamberte Nyabamikazi||14 years, 217 days|
|Oldest champion||Bernard Lagat||32 years, 260 days||Svetlana Masterkova||31 years, 224 days|
|Oldest medalist||Bernard Lagat||34 years, 250 days||Violeta Szekely||36 years, 134 days|
|Oldest participant||Joseph Chesire||35 years, 281 days||Ruth Wysocki||38 years, 154 days|
The 1500 m was the event that first saw the disqualification of a World Championships medallist on the grounds of doping. The 1987 women's bronze medallist Sandra Gasser gave a positive test for anabolic steroids at the competition and received a two-year ban from the sport later that month. Twelve years passed without incident in the event, until the disqualification of the first male 1500 m athlete in 1999: Ibrahim Mohamed Aden was disqualified and given a public warning for ephedrine usage due to failing his post-race test after the semi-finals.
The 2003 men's finalist Fouad Chouki was banned for two-years after a positive test for EPO. Chouki lost an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in which he claimed that an unknown person had injected him with EPO in the aftermath of the race. Regina Jacobs (a two-time silver medallist) had her 2003 semi-final performance annulled retrospectively following the BALCO scandal, as later analysis of her sample at the 2003 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships showed usage of the novel steroid THG.
The women's World Championships 1500 m was affected by doping for three straight editions starting from 2007. Russia's Yelena Soboleva became the second athlete to be stripped of a 1500 m medal after she was banned for her involvement in a doping test manipulation scheme, alongside 2007 finalist Yuliya Fomenko and two-time world champion Tatyana Tomashova (who did not compete in 2007 and whose gold medals from 2003 and 2005 still stand). In 2009 Mariem Alaoui Selsouli withdrew from the final after a sample given earlier that year tested positive for EPO while heats runner Alemitu Bekele Degfa was banned due to biological passport abnormalities. Ukrainian duo Anzhelika Shevchenko and Nataliya Tobias had their 2011 results annulled while Olesya Syreva became the third Russian 1500 m to be disqualified for doping.
Bernard Lagat, the men's gold medallist in 2007, had a positive "A" sample test for EPO prior to the 2003 World Championships which was disregarded after the "B" sample (taken at the same time) returned a negative result. He was temporarily banned in the interim period of testing and missed the world championships as a result, having been runner-up two years earlier. Lagat and medical advisor Hans Heid were critical of the testing procedure for EPO and advocated the dropping of the technique until more reliable methods were found.
Outside of the competition, the 2005 men's champion Rashid Ramzi was banned for doping after winning at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Inaugural women's champion Mary Decker was banned for doping later in her career, as were 2003 and 2005 runners-up Süreyya Ayhan and Olga Yegorova.
|1||Hicham El Guerrouj||Morocco (MAR)||1995–2003||4||1||0||5|
|2=||Noureddine Morceli||Algeria (ALG)||1991–1995||3||0||0||3|
|2=||Asbel Kiprop||Kenya (KEN)||2011–2015||3||0||0||3|
|4||Bernard Lagat|| Kenya (KEN) (2001 only)
United States (USA)
|5||Rashid Ramzi||Morocco (MAR)||2005–2007||1||1||0||2|
|6||Abdi Bile||Somalia (SOM)||1987–1993||1||0||1||2|
|7||Fermín Cacho||Spain (ESP)||1993–1997||0||2||0||2|
|8||Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.||United States (USA)||2011–2013||0||1||1||2|
|9||Reyes Estévez||Spain (ESP)||1997–1999||0||0||2||2|
Medalists by countryEdit
|5||United States (USA)||1||2||3||6|
|7||Great Britain (GBR)||1||0||0||1|
|11=||South Africa (RSA)||0||0||1||1|
|1||Hassiba Boulmerka||Algeria (ALG)||1991–1995||2||0||1||3|
|2=||Tatyana Tomashova||Russia (RUS)||2003-2005||2||0||0||2|
|2=||Maryam Yusuf Jamal||Bahrain (BHR)||2007-2009||2||0||0||2|
|4||Jennifer Simpson||United States (USA)||2011-2017||1||2||0||3|
|5||Tatyana Dorovskikh||Soviet Union (URS)||1987–1991||1||1||0||2|
|6||Carla Sacramento||Portugal (POR)||1995–1997||1||0||1||2|
|7||Faith Kipyegon||Kenya (KEN)||2015-2017||1||1||0||2|
|8||Regina Jacobs||United States (USA)||1997-1999||0||2||0||2|
Medalists by countryEdit
|2||United States (USA)||2||4||1||7|
|5||Soviet Union (URS)||1||2||2||5|
|11||Great Britain (GBR)||0||3||1||4|
|12=||East Germany (GDR)||0||1||0||1|
Championship record progressionEdit
|3:42.28||Pierre Délèze||Switzerland (SUI)||1983||First round||12 August|
|3:40.17||Steve Cram||Great Britain (GBR)||1983||First round||12 August|
|3:38.65||Andreas Busse||East Germany (GDR)||1983||First round||12 August|
|3:37.87||Steve Scott||United States (USA)||1983||First round||12 August|
|3:36.43||Steve Scott||United States (USA)||1983||Semi-final||13 August|
|3:35.77||Steve Cram||Great Britain (GBR)||1983||Semi-final||13 August|
|3:35.67||Abdi Bile||Somalia (SOM)||1987||Semi-final||6 September|
|3:32.84||Noureddine Morceli||Algeria (ALG)||1991||Final||1 September|
|3:27.65||Hicham El Guerrouj||Morocco (MAR)||1999||Final||24 August|
|4:10.71||Ravilya Agletdinova||Soviet Union (URS)||1983||First round||12 August|
|4:07.47||Mary Decker||United States (USA)||1983||First round||12 August|
|4:00.90||Mary Decker||United States (USA)||1983||Final||14 August|
|3:58.56||Tatyana Samolenko||Soviet Union (URS)||1987||Final||5 September|
|3:58.52||Tatyana Tomashova||Russia (RUS)||2003||Final||31 August|
- Championships Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-12.
- IAAF World Championships: IAAF Statistics Handbook Daegu 2011, pp. 595–6 (archived). IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-06.
- Butler 2013, p. 34–7.
- Sandra Gasser of Switzerland today was stripped of the.... UPI (21987-09-29). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- IAAF suspend Davidson Ezinwa (NGR) and disqualify Mohamed Ibrahim Aden (SOM). IAAF (1999-08-23). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- CAS restores two-year doping ban to Chouki. AP Worldstream (2005-04-05). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Abrahamson, Alan (2004-07-18). Jacobs Banned for Four Years. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Butler 2013, p. 67–9.
- Seven Russians handed doping bans. BBC Sport (2008-10-20). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Moroccan admits to positive doping test. Sydney Morning Herald (2009-08-24). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Alemitu Bekele verliert EM-Titel (in German). Leichathletik (2013-01-16). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Expert Critical of Lagat EPO Test Cleared Miler's Case Suggests Testing Is Flawed Archived 3 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Track and Field News (2003-11-26). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Cram, Steve (2009-05-05). Why Rashid Ramzi's sudden rise always stuck in the craw. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Rowbottom, Mike (1999-04-27). Athletics: Slaney doping ban upheld at IAAF hearing. Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Turkish star Kop handed life ban. BBC Sport (2009-11-11). Retrieved on 2015-08-08.
- Main > Men, 1500 m > World Championships Records Progression. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2015-07-07.
- Main > Women, 1500 m > World Championships Records Progression. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 2015-07-07.