• Curtis Anderson

DAY SEVEN: Blankenship, Gourley advance in 1,500m

EUGENE, Ore. - Survive and advance.

Oregon Track Club Elite's Ben Blankenship and Neil Gourley followed that strategy to perfection on Thursday in the first round of the 1,500 meters at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

There were 15 competitors in each of three qualifying heats, and only the top six finishers in each heat, plus the next six fastest times, would secure a berth in Friday's semifinals.

Blankenship, a 1,500m finalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, placed third in the second heat with a time of 3:37.13 to earn a spot in the semifinals. Gourley, the reigning British indoor and outdoor 1,500m champion, advanced by placing fourth in the third heat at 3:36.31.

The 1,500m semifinals are scheduled to begin at 10:05 a.m. (PDT) on Friday. ​