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Olympian Manzano advances to semis of track World Championships

Leonel Manzano with his silver medal from the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Leonel Manzano with his silver medal from the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MOSCOW — Olympic Silver medalist and Marble Falls High School graduate Leonel Manzano smiled as he ducked into the athlete area following his second-place finish in the first round of the men’s 1,500-meter race at the IAAF World Championships.

When a reporter asked how he felt, Manzano grinned and said he felt great.

After posting a time of 3 minutes and 39.39 seconds in his heat, Manzano now competes Aug. 16 in the semi-final round of the International Association of Athletics Federations Track and Field World Championships.

Manzano won the silver medal in the same event during the 2012 London Olympics. He is a 2004 MFHS graduate who grew up in Granite Shoals.

In the first round, Manzano finished second to Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat who covered the distance in 3 minutes and 39.31 seconds.

Fellow Americans Lopez Lomong and Matthew Centrowitz also advanced to the semi-final round. They ran in separate preliminary heats.

Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop posted the fastest time in the first round races at 3 minutes and 38.15 seconds.

During the semi-final heat, Manzano will find himself on the track with Lomong. The same heat includes Kiplagat and Kiprop.

Manzano’s personal best in the 1,500-meter is 3 minutes and 32.37 seconds. This year, his fastest time is 3 minutes and 33.14 seconds.

The top five finishers in the two semi-final heats along with the next two fastest runners advance to the 1,500-meter finals on Aug. 18.

daniel@thepicayune.com