Cross Country | Saturday, August 27, 2011
Symmonds Wins Opening Heat at World Track and Field Championships
Advances to Semifinals in Men's 800-Meter Run
DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA -- Former Willamette University runner Nick Symmonds ('06) won his preliminary heat in the 800-meter run at the IAAF World Championships in track and field. He advanced to the semifinals, which will be held early Sunday morning Pacific time.
Symmonds took first place in his heat with a time of 1:46.54. He moved past the leaders in the final 50 meters. The preliminary round featured a total of six heats (43 runners), with the top three finishers in each heat, plus the next six fastest times, advancing to the semifinals.
There will be three heats in the semifinals. The top two finishers in each semifinal heat and the next two fastest runners will qualify for the finals.
Symmonds won the first heat of the event by one-tenth of a second. Andreas Bube from Denmark placed second in 1:46.64. Kevin Lopez of Spain was third at 1:45.79. Placing fourth in the heat and just missing the cut for the final at-large berth into the semifinals by 0.04 seconds was Mouhcine El Amine of Morocco at 1:46.98. Overall, there were seven runners in the heat.
Also reaching the semifinals for the U.S. was Khadevis Robinson, who placed third in the sixth heat with a time of 1:48.41. Charles Jock from the U.S. took fifth place in the fourth heat in 1:47.95 and did not receive one of the six at-large berth into the semis.
It is the third consecutive time that Symmonds has advanced to at least the semifinals of the 800-meter run at the World Championships. He reached the semifinals in 2007 and advanced to the finals in 2009, where he finished sixth overall. In addition, Symmonds reached the semifinals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Earlier this summer, Symmonds won his fourth consecutive U.S. title in the 800 at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Symmonds won a total of seven NCAA Division III national championships while running for Willamette. He achieved four NCAA titles in the 800-meter run and added three NCAA championships in the 1,500-meter run.