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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Morceli Tops Own 1,500 Mark

NICE, France -- Noureddine Morceli is missing probably only one thing to run faster -- competition.


He set his second world record in 10 days with another solo finish as he bettered his own world 1,500 meters mark with 3 minutes, 27.37 seconds Wednesday at the Nikaia Grand Prix track meet.


The 25-year-old Morceli set the old mark of 3:28.86 in September 1992.


"I felt extraordinary,'' Morceli said. "If I had someone with me [on the final lap] I could have gone 3:25 or 3:26.''


"I am very happy with the time but my real motivation is to reach 3:25.''


The Algerian was running alone the last 550 meters, similar to what he did last week at Paris when he bettered the 2,000-meter mark of 4:47.88 on July 3.


He now has the 1,500 (3:27.37), mile (3:44.39), 2,000 (4:47.88) and 3,000 (7:25.11) outdoor world records, along with the indoor world bests for the 1,500 (3:34.16) and 1,000 (2:15.26).


"I respect all my records,'' Morceli said. "But the 1,500 and mile are pretty high.''


Morceli's brother Ali set the pace of 54.89 for the first 400 meters and led through the 800.


Then Morceli ran alone for the last 550 meters and passed 1,200 in 2:47.02, just under his pace set at Rieti, Italy in September 1992.


He finished strongly with about 53.3 over the final 400 meters.


Second was William Kemei of Kenya in 3:31.40. Third was Eric Dubus of France, 3:32.47.


Venuste Niyongabo of Burundi continued his challenge to Morceli by coming within a second of the 2,000 mark with 4:48.69.


Niyongabo was ahead of the Morceli's 2,000 pace with 400 meters to go before fading slightly.


Niyongabo, who was rated the second-best 1,500-meter/miler in the world behind Morceli in 1994, was ahead of the pace at 800 meters, 1:55.80 compared to 1:57.06 in Morceli's record. At 1,600 meters he was still slightly ahead, 3:52.34 compared to Morceli's 3:52.82.


Niyongabo finished the final 400 in 56.35 seconds while Morceli's was just over 55, making the difference in the final time.


In other events, Marie Jose-Perec of France won the 400 in 50.21, the season's best. She has been trying the 400 hurdles and talks of attempting a double at the world championships.


Melinda Gainsford of Australia, the indoor 200 world champion, took her event in 22.63.


Cuba's Javier Sotomayor, the world record-holder, suffered a rare defeat in the high jump clearing 2.30 meters.


Troy Kemp of the Bahamas won with 2.38 meters.