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Olympic runner loses shoe, still finishes 1,500-meter race

During the men's 1,500-meter semifinal, Polish long-distance running Michal Rozmys lost his right shoe but kept on competing.

WASHINGTON — Poland's Michal Rozmys wasn't going to let a missing shoe stop him from crossing the finish line at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

During the men's second 1,500-meter semifinal, Rozmys lost his left shoe. It slowed him down, but didn't stop him. He finished the race in 13th place, with a total time of 3 minutes and 54.53 seconds.

At this time, it's not known how he lost the shoe in the first place.

The 26-year-old is currently ranked 38th in the world in the men's 1,500-meter, according to World Athletics. He also runs the men's 800-meter, but not on the Olympic stage.

During the same semifinal heat, Abel Kipsang from Kenya won and broke an Olympic record with a final time of 3 minutes 31.65 seconds.

The finals for the event will be held on Saturday.

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Credit: AP
Michal Rozmys, of Poland, runs with just one shoe in a semifinal of the men's 1,500-meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Several days before the race, Rozmys posted on Facebook saying "Your great support is always very much needed for us athletes. Keep your fingers crossed and cheer." 

The women's 1,500-meter final will be held on Friday.

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan had a hiccup during the women's 1,500-meter heat, but still came back and won. At the start of the final lap, she tripped and fell after Kenya's Edinah Jebitok tumbled in front of her. Hassan got back to her feet and finished in 4 minutes, 5.17 seconds to qualify for the semifinals.

Hassan is the predicted silver medalist for the women's 5,000 and 1,500 races.

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