The 1500m Men is a loaded field with an Olympic Finalist, a World Championship silver medalist, two former national champions and the current national champion.
Sure to be one of the major highlights of the first Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meetings in Ruimsig on Thursday, 01 March 2018, the men’s event will almost be a rematch of the ASA National Championships of 2017, with 6 of the 12 finalists in the mix.
Joshua Cheptegei. Hailed by many as the man to take over from Mo Farah and dominate the track, Cheptegei is running in foreign territory in the 1500m. The Ugandan has only run the distance once, posting a time of 3:37.82 in Nijmegen, Holland in 2016. Since then he has focussed on the longer distances, the 5000m and 10 000m. The 1500m is vital part of his preparations for the Commonwealth Games and is to be used to improve his already incredible leg speed. What could be an Achilles heel, is his relative inexperience over the three and three quarter lap race. But Cheptegei has shown resilience time and again and will be a very difficult contender to deal with on Thursday, 01 March.
Ronald Musagala. The Ugandan national record holder in the 1500m reached the Olympic final in Rio in 2016. With a best time of 3:33.65, Musagala is the fastest in the field. Musagala was also a finalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 800m and 1500. The 25-year-old ran his Personal Best in Hengelo, Holland at the FBK Games in 2017 when he finished third behind Alsadik Mkhou from Burundi and Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia. This will be the first time that Musagala and Cheptegei meet in a race.
Abel Sikowo. At only 18-years-old, he has already represented Uganda on two occasions. Sikowo is better known as a Steeplechaser, having finished 5th at the World Youth Championships in the 2000m Steeplechase in 2015 and was selected to run at the 2017 World Championships in the 3000m Steeplechase as a 17-year-old. His best 1500m is a 3:49.30 run in Dar-Es Salaam at the East African Junior Championships where he finished 7th. Like Cheptegei, with whom he trains, Sikowo has run the metric mile only once before. Both Cheptegei and Sikowo are in agreement that they will not be working together in the race, despite the fact that they are training partners.
Jerry Motsau. The former South African Champion (Motsau won the 1500m title in 2014) has a best of 3:36.74 which he ran in Rieti, Italy in 2014. Motsau has an ongoing rivalry with Dumisane Hlaselo (2017 National Champion) and Folavio Sehole (national champion 2016), with the three continuously challenging each other on social media.
Folavio Sehole. He is the Mozambique national record holder with his best of 3:39.41 run in 2013 before obtaining his South African citizenship in 2014. Sehole won the South African 1500m title in 2016 and was third in 2017.
Rantso Mokopane. He is better known as a 3000m Steeplechase athlete, having won the silver medal at the World University Games in that event in 2017 in Taipei. Mokopane though regularly races the 1500m and has a Personal Best of 3:38.83 which he ran in Cape Town in 2017 when he won the SA University Championships 1500m title. Mokopane won three national titles in 2017, the 3000m Steeplechase at the National Championships, the 3000m Steeplechase at the SA University Championships and the 1500m SA University Championship title. A hard and faster paced race will suit Mokopane as he has the endurance in his legs. This kind of race though can well play into the hands of Joshua Cheptegei too.
Dumisane Hlaselo. The 2017 National 1500m champion has the fastest 1500m time of the South African’s in the line-up with his 3:36.36 run in 2015. In 2005 Hlaselo finished 5th at the World Youth Championships. He has gone faster than 3:37 three times in his career, with clockings of 3:36.51 in Stellenbosch in 2015 and 3:36.65 run in Doha in 2016 to go with his Personal Best. Hlaselo is comfortable running from the front and setting the pace or sitting and letting the field do the work before pouncing in the home-straight, making him a very dangerous metric miler to face.
George Kusche. He appeared on the South African athletics scene in 2016 when he as a 17-year-old ran a 3:53.54 (A) 1500m. Since then he has brought that time down to 3:41.18 which he ran in Durban in 2017. Kusche also won the national Junior 1500m title. Already he has run 3:51.45 in Tshwane on 10 February. This line up could well be the impetus he needs to take his running to the next level. Kusche is fearless on the track and will not let the big names dominate him.
Nkosinathi Sibiya. He was second behind Hlaselo in the 1500m at the National Championships in 2017 and 6th in 2016. His best of 3:40.69 was run in Durban in 2017. Sibiya has also had some success on the international front, winning a 1500m in Berlin.
Treasure Derison. He was 4th in the 1500m final at the 2017 National Championships. He boasts a best of 3:41.42, run in Durban on 28 February in 2017.
Gladwin Mzazi. He is better known as a 5000/10 000m athlete or on the roads where he competes up to the marathon distance (although he has sworn off the marathon for the near future). Mzazi has run a best of 3:46.80 at altitude in 2012 and may well find the race on Thursday, 01 March in Ruimsig challenging.
Henry Makane. He boasts a best of 3:43.64 for the 1500m run in Cape Town when he finished 5th at the National University Championships. Makane also finished 5th at the National Championships in Potchefstroom, clocking 3:44.42.
EVENT INFORMATION: Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series
Dates and Venues:
|Thursday, 01 March 2018||Ruimsig Stadium, Johannesburg|
|Thursday, 08 March 2018||Tuks Stadium, Tshwane|
|Thursday, 22 March 2018||Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl|
Main Pavilion Tickets
|Standard Ticket:||R 100 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
Open Stand/Grass Banks
|Standard Ticket:||R 50 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
ONLINE TICKET SALES are open and can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za
Tickets can also be purchased at the gate of each event.
Visit the event’s Facebook page for daily announcements!
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About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including track and field, cross country, road running and racewalking) in South Africa, recognised by the IAAF, and also a member of Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.