Men’s favorite Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia had to fight from the back before earning his second consecutive World Indoor Championships 800-meter gold medal in 1:46.40. Aman made his initial move in the last half of the race, advancing to third behind Polish home-crowd favorites Marcin Lewandowski and Adam Kszczot. Aman needed almost the entire last lap to get past the Poles, finally breaking clear coming out of the final turn. Kszczot took second in 1:46.76 with Lewandowski running 1:47.09 to hold off hard-charging British runner Andrew Osagie by one-hundredth of a second. After the race, however, Lewandowski was disqualified for stepping onto the infield, giving Osagie the bronze medal.
Kszczot led the way during qualifying, winning the third heat in 1:45.76. Aman and Andre Olivier of South Africa won the other heats, while Americans Nick Symmonds and Erik Sowinski failed to reach the final.
Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti took the early lead in the 1500-meter final and fought off all passing attempts throughout the race. He didn’t falter down the stretch and earned the gold medal with a time of 3:37.52. Among those challenging for the lead was Ethiopia’s Aman Wote, who settled for the silver in 3:38.08. Defending champion Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco took the bronze in 3:38.21.
Wote led all qualifiers by winning the third heat in 3:36.75. Souleiman edged New Zealand’s Nick Willis in the second heat while Homiyu Tesfaye of Germany won the first heat. Non-qualifiers from the strong field included Lopez Lamong of the U.S., Mekonnen Gebremedhin of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat.
Three-time champion Bernard Lagat made a strong bid for another World Indoor gold medal, but youth was served in the men’s 3000-meter final. The race featured a slow early pace until Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku moved in front with a bit less than three laps remaining. Lagat remained in the middle of the pack, then charged into second at the bell. He chased Ndiku around the track during the final lap but the 39-year-old American couldn’t catch the 21-year-old Kenyan. Ndiku crossed the line in 7:54.94, while Lagat became the oldest men’s World Indoor Championships medalist by taking second in 7:55.22. Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel (7:55.39) then held off American Galen Rupp (7:55.84) for the bronze medal.
Ndiku (7:42.75) and fellow Kenyan Augustine Choge (7:44.85) won the preliminary heats.
More from the 2014 World Indoor Championships: