1500m Gold - Noah Ngeny of Kenya

beats favourite
Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco.

8:16PM, Sep 29, 2000

Forty metres from the finish line, one of the biggest boilovers of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was confirmed, Noah Ngeny of Kenya pushing past a despairing Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco to take the 1,500 metres gold medal.

An overjoyed Ngeny took Kenya's second gold medal within half an hour, adding to the steeplechase win of Reuben Kosgei.

Ngeny's three minutes 32.07 seconds run broke Sebastian Coe's Olympic record, set when the great Briton won the second of two consecutive 1500m gold medals in Los Angeles 16 years ago.

"I stuck close to him all the way," Ngeny said. "I am very happy. I am the Olympic champion."

After the semi-finals on Wednesday, he had said: "I think my chances are good." Few had agreed with him then.

As in the steeplechase, Kenya took two of the three 1,500m medals. El Guerrouj took silver in 3:32.32, Kenya's Bernard Lagat claiming the bronze in 3:32.44.

Not since the Olympic final of 1996, when his chances evaporated as he fell with 400m to go, had El Guerrouj lost at 1,500m. Not since the end of 1997, when he lost in a slow grand prix final, had he lost at its imperial equivalent, the mile.