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Posted: August 20, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Little Rest For World 1500M Champion Kamel

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BERLIN (20-Aug) -- Just half a day after winning the world 1500m title by the smallest margin in IAAF World Championships history, Bahrain's Yusuf Saad Kamel was once again on the bright blue track of Olympic Stadium this morning trying to advance in the 800m.

The Kenyan-born Kamel, who competed as Gregory Konchellah until obtaining Bahraini citizenship in 2003, won the fourth of seven heats in 1:46.43 to advance to the semi-finals.

"At the moment I'm very, very tired," Kamel told reporters after his 800m heat. "I would like to go back to the hotel and take a rest."

Kamel has already run four races at these championships because the 1500m had three rounds. He ran his preliminary race last Saturday and his semi-final last Monday before winning his gold medal last night. He was so busy with press obligations, drug testing and at least some celebrating last night that he barely had time to sleep.

"Honestly, I didn't sleep," Kamel said. "Like two hours."

Kamel is the son of 1987 and 1991 world 800m champion Billy Konchellah. Konchellah, along with Denmark's Wilson Kipketer (also Kenyan-born) are the only men to win two or more world 800m titles. Kipketer won three: 1995, '97 and '99.

Kamel will be in action again when the semi-finals are held tomorrow night. He's drawn a tough heat and will face 2008 Olympic 1500m silver medalist Asbel Kiprop and the defending world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego, both of Kenya, and 2000 Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia. The top-2 finishers of each heat, plus the next two fastest losers, will advance to Sunday's final.

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