Donn Cabral is having a good start to his professional running career. On Friday, Cabral qualified for his first Olympic final by leading his preliminary heat for the first 2,600 meters and then finishing 4th in his heat to grab the final automatic berth in 8:21.46.
Tonight in the finals, Cabral continued his front-running trend by co-leading the middle portion of the race with American teammate Evan Jager (hitting the 1km mark in 2:52.70). It was only a little after the 2km mark did the field pick up the pace and begin to pass Cabral. However, Cabral stood his ground (and avoided Kenya’s Kipruto who fell with a little under 2 laps to go) and finished very strongly in 8th place in 8:25.91. The race was won by Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi in 8:18.56. Jager finished in 6th place in 8:23.87.
Cabral spoke of his race to letsrun.com co-founder, Weldon Johnson, last night: “It was a fun experience. A great step. 8th at the Olympics is pretty amazing. I think I’ve got more in me. If it’s not coming this year, I think it will come next year. … It was amazing doing it but leading mid-race is different than leading at the end of the race as it was, it’s not the Tour de France where you get points for mid-race tactics.”
Cabral said as long as things are going well, he could keep running this year as he can improve at a lot of events.
Thanks to PhotoRun for the action shot of the final!