World Indoor 1500m Champion
20th March 2016 – Matthew today claimed his first global title in a brilliant 1500m final at the World Indoor Championships.
A slow early pace saw the field closely bunched behind defending champion Ayanlew Souleiman (DJI) who appeared to be trying to employ the same tactics of front running he used to win the title last time. However, after managing to repel several attacks he could do nothing as first Dawit Wolde (ETH) and then Nick Willis (NZL) burst into the lead with 400m remaining.
Heading into this race Matthew was unbeaten in 2016 but with 200m to run and still in third he was going to have to show speed and strength over the last lap to maintain this record. However, he displayed both in abundance and as he drew level with Wills with 40m left he drew on the energy being generated by the partisan home crowd and also the many family and friends he had in attendance to find that one final push to take him clear. He timed his run to perfection and crossed the line in 3:44.22 with a final 400m of close to 52 seconds.
This victory gives Matthew the complete set of World medals after he won silver at the outdoor championships in Moscow (2013) and bronze in Daegu (2011).
It also gave him the perfect record for the 2016 indoor season with 7 victories from 7 races (including his heat at the World Indoor Championships). His indoor season stacked up as follows:
Tracktown High Performance Meet 1, Portland, 3000m, 1st, 7:55.25
Camel City Invite, North Carolina, 1 mile, 1st, 3:54.02
Tracktown High Performance Meet 4, Portland, 3000m, 1st, 7:40.74
Millrose Games, New York, 1 mile, 1st, 3:50.63
USATF Indoor Championships, Portland, 1500m, 1st, 3:44.33
IAAF World Indoor Championships, Portland, 1500m Heat 1, 1st, 3:47.15
IAAF World Indoor Championships, Portland, 1500m Final, 1st, 3:44.22