|Credentials||Defending world 1,500m and 5,000m champion, the Kenyan-born American won 1,500m bronze in 2000 and silver four years later in Athens. He won both distances at the U.S. Olympic trials.|
|Credentials||Won the 2005 IAAF World Championships at 800m and 1,500m. A year ago he turned up in Osaka without having raced at all prior to the world championships. He won the silver medal in the 1,500m.|
|Credentials||Shocked the world with a victory in Oslo’s famed Dream Mile with a personal best time of 3:49.38. Possesses a fine finishing kick and carries British hopes that he can resurrect the Golden days of British milers.|
|Credentials||Ran a personal best of 3:31.57 to win the Berlin Golden League meet in the fastest time of the season, then won the Kenyan Olympic trials. He is the Commonwealth 5,000m champion and one of the more versatile athletes.|
|Credentials||Finished 4th at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, the same year he won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior race. Although his personal best time is only 3:35.24 he is capable of much more. At the Kenyan trials he beat athletes who have run four or five seconds faster.|
On A Roll
Kiprop doesn’t always run fast but he competes well. Beating Shedrack Korir and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen at the Kenyan Olympic trials pushes his stature higher.
The X Factor
Many of the fastest times in the world are achieved with the help of professional pace-setters. At the Olympics the athletes must fend for themselves with sometimes catastrophic results. Poor tactics can eliminate even the favourites.
That’s where the experience of athletes like 34-year-old Bernard Lagat, who has been to two previous Olympic Games, comes in handy. The decision to run the 5,000m might negatively affect his focus on the 1,500m.
Under the Radar
Abdaalati Iguider of Morocco is 21 and has had some good early-season results, including 4th in the Berlin Golden League meet in a personal best 3:32.10.
He first impressed with a silver medal performance at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships, which were held in Beijing.
Kevin Sullivan of Brantford, Ont., has been to the Olympics twice before, finishing 5th in the 2000 Sydney Games.
At 34 he is still running strong and will do well to get into the final in Beijing. Relying too heavily on his finishing speed can sometimes prove perilous.
Taylor Milne surprised many with a huge personal best time of 3:36.00 when he won the 2008 Harry Jerome Track Classic 1,500m. An impressive victory at the Canadian Championships bodes well for a semi-final berth in Beijing. The Guelph, Ont., native has no international championship experience and will have to learn quickly.
Bernard Lagat achieved the 1,500m/5,000m double a year ago at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. Already he has silver and bronze medals from the last two Olympics. The Kenyan-born American will fight tooth and nail to win the gold medal and it will take a phenomenal performance to upset him.
But the Olympic 1,500m final historically has provided upsets.