Kenya: Timothy Cheruiyot Leads Simotwo, Kipsang Into 1500m Semis

In Tokyo

World champion Timothy Cheruiyot led compatriots Abel Kipsang and Charles Simotwo into the semi-finals of the men's 1500 metres at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

Cheruiyot, first of the three Kenyans on the track early Tuesday, timed 3:36.01 to finish second to Belgium's Ismael Debjani (3:36.00) while Australia's Oliver Hoare (3:36.09) claimed third-place in the first hear.

Cheruiyot, the world champion over the distance, will be hoping to return home with the gold that Kenya last won at the 2008 Olympics.

Kipsang topped in Heat 2, winning in 3:40.68 ahead of Olympics champion Mathew Centrowitz of the USA (3:41.12) while Great Britain's Jake Wightman (3:41.18) was third.

Youngster Simoto sailed through as one of the six fastest qualifiers after finishing a 10th in Heat 3 that was won by Great Britain's Jake Heyward (3:36.14).

Poland's Mercilin Lewandowski was re-instated into the semi-finals after finishing last in Heat 2, after taking a massive tumble in the last 200m.

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