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Mehdi Baala defends 1,500 m title

2006-08-09

Mehdi Baala defends his title at the European Championships in Gothenburg.
© Photo Run / Jiro Mochizuki

The Frenchman Mehdi Baala defended his Eurpean Championships’ title in the one and only running decision of the day. The 27 year-old ran the 1,500 m in 3:39,02 minutes and beat the Ukrainian favourite Ivan Heshko, who finished second in 3:39,50 minutes. Third was the Spaniard Juan Carlos Higuero with 3:39,62.

The Spanish runners were the ones who took the initiative from the beginning. Arturo Casado took the lead ahead of his countrymen Sergio Gallardo and Juan Carlos Higuero. Ivan Heshko ran more reserved in the beginning as well as Mehdi Baala. After 800 meters both were getting further in front into positions two and three.

“A dream has come true,” said Baala, who started the decisive move 300 meters ahead of the finish. It was then not possible for the others to catch him again. Heshko tried to close the gap but could only manage to pass Spain’s Higuero. „I managed to defend my title, and I am very happy about it. I can’t believe it,” Baala said. He is now the only runner besides Steve Cram (Great Britain)  who has won two European golds at 1,500 metres.  

 

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