Matt Centrowitz becomes first American man to take gold in 1500 since 1908

Fourth-Place Medal

The last time an American man took the gold medal in the 1500-meter, Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House, Henry Ford was gearing up to produce the first Model T and the Chicago Cubs were about to win the World Series. That American, Mel Sheppard, won the race with a time of 4:05.

On Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. became the first American runner to take gold in the 1500 since Sheppard, winning the race with a time of 3:50.

Centrowitz got out to an early lead and led the field for the first two laps, before having to see off a late surge from Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop and eventual silver medalist, Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria in the final lap of the race.

Nick Willis of New Zealand took bronze.


The son of two-time Olympian, Matt Centrowitz Sr., the younger Centrowitz qualified for this summer’s Games by running the fastest 1500 in the history of the U.S. Olympic Trials. His winning time however, 3:50 flat, was the slowest winning time in decades.


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