PARIS — Uganda’s Ronald Musagala showed good form to win a men’s 1500m race that was every bit as competitive as forecast on Saturday evening.
The middle runner Musagala dipped like a high hurdler in televised race — equalling the Ugandan record of 3:30.58 he set at last month’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco.
“If I can run in Doha like I ran here, anything is possible,” said Musagala. “My target is a medal.”
The Ugandan arrived at the Stade Sébastien Charléty in the French capital having won the 1500m at the Birimingham DL Meet in England last Sunday with a time of 3:35.12 minutes.
Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman, who had taken over the lead when the second pacemaker peeled away early on the final lap, was passed in the final 30 metres, finishing second in a season’s best of 3:30.66 ahead of the Ingebrigtsen brothers.
On this occasion it was Filip who had the better run, finishing third in 3:31.06 as reward for a tactically astute race, with his 18-year-old brother Jakob fourth in 3:31.33.
For the first time ever outside of Monaco, the top 10 finished inside 3:32, with Stewart McSweyn of Australia equalling his personal best of 3:31.81, Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Samuel Tefara finishing a place behind him in ninth, a hundredth of a second behind, and Marcin Lewandowski, who set a Polish record of 3:31.95.
Musagala’s 2019 report card is adorable with four wins, no finish beyond fifth and two national records (NR) in seven 1500m races.
His current personal best and NR time of 3:30.58 is the third fastest time over the distance in the world this year.
In Paris, he faced one of the two who have run faster than him this year; Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigsten (3:30.16). Kenyan Timothy Cheruyiot (3:28.77) opted out.
The race, which also acted Musagala’s last qualifier to DL final due September 6 in Brussels, Belgium, has him face Kenyan Ferguson Cheruyiot, European Indoor champion Polish Marcin Lewandowski.