Early this morning, USA’s Morgan Uceny took her first racing steps as an Olympian by competing in the 1,500m preliminary rounds.
She easily qualified for the semifinals by placing 2nd in her heat. The top 6 in each heat got automatic bids for the semifinals, with the next fastest 6 times filling in the last of the semifinal slots. Uceny finished in 4:06.87, and got edged out for the heat win by Turkey’s Gamze Bulut (4:06.69). Uceny’s time is also the 9th fastest going into the semifinals, as the 1st heat automatic qualifiers all had finishing times faster than 4:06. Ethiopia’s Abeba Aregawi,w ho won the 1st heat, was the fastest qualifier with a 4:04.55.
Uceny was quoted to USATF, “My goal is always to be in the top three in the rounds to make it to the final. I felt good. I was a little anxious because I haven’t raced a lot. There’s nothing better to prepare you than to do three rounds. I did it once, I can do it again.”
Uceny was the 2nd fastest American qualifier behind Shannon Rowbury (4:06.03). Both Rowbury and Jennifer Simpson also qualified for the semifinals. The semifinals will be held on Wednesday at 2:45pm EST.