U.S. runner Hocker qualifies for men’s 1500m finals, Centrowitz does not

Cole Hocker competes in the men's 1500m semifinals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Getty Images)


Cole Hocker could be heading back to the University of Oregon with a gold medal around his neck.

In the thrilling first 1500m semifinal Thursday, the 20-year-old American kept pace with frontrunner Jake Wightman of Great Britain to finish second with a time of 3:33.87 to advance to the gold medal race, ranking 11th overall in the field of 26.

Defending 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz, finished with a slightly better time in his race, crossing the line at 3:33.69, but finished ninth in Semifinal 2. Because he did not finish in the top 5 of his race or qualify on time, he did not qualify for the gold medal race.

Leading on time overall heading into the 1500m final are Abel Kipsang of Kenya (3:31.65), Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway (3:32.13) and Josh Kerr of Great Britain (3:32.18).