Mile News

Beamish doubles New Zealand delight with surprise 1500m gold

March 03, 2024

“I was fortunate it wasn't a 3:29 race. I don't think that would have been on the cards for me then. But I feel like I can run people down in that last lap. It's incredible.”

By Mike Rowbottom for World Athletics

New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish produced an extraordinary finish to win the men’s 1500m title from lane three, having entered the home straight in fifth place as the two top U.S. runners appeared to be contesting the gold at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.

Beamish, who had theoretically moved up to the 3000m steeplechase after feeling as if he lacked the pace to make an impact at a shorter distance, crossed the finish line with a look of amazement on his face before clutching his head in his hands.

The 27-year-old U.S.-based runner had come from nowhere to win a first global medal in a personal indoor record 3:36.54. Maybe time for a spot of career re-evaluation?

It added a second gold to the New Zealand cause following the morning’s victory in the men’s high jump by Hamish Kerr.

Until that startling final flourish from the man in black it seemed as if the World title was to be decided by a private battle between the runners who had finished respectively first and second in the USA Indoor Championships: Cole Hocker and Hobbs Kessler.

It looked as though Hocker had timed his final move perfectly as he moved past his domestic rival over the final 20 meters – only to see Beamish charge through on his right-hand side.

Hocker took silver in an indoor PR of 3:36.69, with Kessler claiming bronze in 3:36.72 to go with his World road Mile gold.

Isaac Nader of Portugal finished fourth in 3:36.97, with Norway’s outdoor World bronze medallst Narve Gilje Nordas, who had hung back early in the race before making a bid to come round the outside that was smartly blocked by his U.S. rivals, taking fifth place in an indoor PR of 3:37.03.

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera, who had arrived seeking a third consecutive World title, had not looked in the form of former years, and eventually settled for seventh place in 3:38.10.

“I think it was the best ever World Championships for New Zealand before I stepped on to the track,” Beamish said. “The last couple of days have been a huge performance by the team. Tom (Walsh with silver in the men's shot put), Eliza McCartney (with silver in the women's pole vault) and Hamish (Kerr with gold in the high jump) are leaders on the team, both on and off the track, and they showed what it means to wear the black jersey.

“And it is incredible to add to that. It was first thing in the morning (on Monday in New Zealand when the race was run) and I hope a lot of people were watching. I hope that brought a lot of joy. I seem to always have that last lap.

“I was fortunate it wasn't a 3:29 race. I don't think that would have been on the cards for me then. But I feel like I can run people down in that last lap. It's incredible.”

Hocker commented: “I just kept waiting for some gap to take advantage of, and at some point, you just have to go, so that's what I did. I can't lie, I came here for the gold but it's my first global medal, so I can't turn my nose up at it.”

Full results HERE.

CREDIT: Getty Images

Tags: world indoor championships (9) , hobbs kessler (17) , geordie beamish (3) , cole hocker (16)

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