After more than a century, the United States returned to the top of the podium in the men's 1,500-meter run Saturday in Rio de Janeiro after Matthew Centrowitz Jr. held off Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria to take gold in the 2016 Olympics.
Centrowitz led for much of the race, and while Makhloufi's late kick nearly spoiled the moment for Team USA, the 2012 London Olympic gold medalist was unable to complete the comeback.
Here is a look at the full finishing order, with New Zealand's Nicholas Willis slipping into third to secure bronze:
|2016 Olympic Men's 1,500-Meter Results|
|Gold||Matthew Centrowitz||United States||3:50.00|
|Bronze||Nicholas Willis||New Zealand||3:50.24|
|8||Ben Blankenship||United States||3:51.09|
|12||Charlie Grice||Great Britain||3:51.73|
With the win, Centrowitz became the first American man to win the 1,500-meter competition since Mel Sheppard at the 1908 London Olympics.
According to Nick Zaccardi of NBC Olympic Talk, Centrowitz also broke a long American drought in races exceeding 400 meters at the Summer Games:
Following the Maryland native's golden moment, RTE Sport tweeted a photo of his celebration:
Makhloufi appeared to be closing the gap down the stretch, but as Chris Chavez of SI.com pointed out, Centrowitz dug deep to deliver a huge split on his final lap:
Centrowitz's father, Matt Centrowitz Sr., was a two-time Olympian, but the younger Centrowitz did something the elder never did by taking home an Olympic medal.
Along with Makhloufi winning his third overall medal, Willis medaled for the second time in his Olympic career after taking silver at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Among the notable runners who missed the podium was Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider, who finished fifth after winning bronze in the event in 2012.
American Ben Blankenship came in eighth.
Leonel Manzano took Team USA to the podium in the 1,500-meter men's race for the first time since 1968 when he won silver in 2012, and Centrowitz built on that momentum Saturday.
Based on the recent results, American distance running could well be on the verge of a renaissance.
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