Track and Field | Saturday, August 10, 2013
Symmonds Wins Preliminary Heat at World Championships
Advances to Semifinals on Sunday
MOSCOW, RUSSIA -- Former Willamette University track and field and cross country runner Nick Symmonds '06 won his preliminary heat in the 800-meter run at the IAAF World Championships on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Symmonds recorded a time of 1:46.90 to win the fourth of six heats in the prelims. Other heat winners were Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France in 1:47.70, Ronald Musagala from Uganda in 1:46.12, Duane Solomon of the United States in 1:45.80, Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia in 1:44.93 and Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti in 1:46.86.
A total of 24 competitors are set to race in the semifinals on Sunday, Aug. 11, starting at 8:35 a.m. PDT. The top three finishers in each preliminary heat advanced to the semifinals along with the runners earning the next six fastest times. Symmonds will run in the last of the three semifinal heats.
The U.S. will be represented by three runners in the semifinals. Symmonds and Solomon will be joined by Brandon Johnson, who placed third in the second preliminary heat at 1:46.32. Solomon will compete in the first semifinal heat and Johnson is entered in the second semifinal heat.
Symmonds won a close three-man finish during his preliminary race. Barely trailing Symmonds were Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla from Qatar and Samir Jamaa from Morocco, both 0.04 back at 1:46.94. Balla placed second and Jamaa was third.
Mark English from Ireland took fourth place in the heat, 0.14 behind Balla and Jamaa at 1:47.08, and did not advance to the semifinals.
Symmonds will be looking to reach the finals of the World Championships for the third consecutive time. He placed fifth at the World Championships in 2011 and was sixth in 2009.
This year's finals at the World Championships are set for Tuesday, Aug 13 at 10:10 a.m. PDT.
As a collegiate runner, Symmonds won seven NCAA Division III national championships in track and field while competing for Willamette from 2003 through 2006. He won four NCAA championships in the 800-meter run and earned three titles in the 1,500-meter run.