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Oregon track and field stars score 2nd and 4th in 1,500 meter race at Tokyo Olympics

Oregon Ducks Matt Centrowitz placed second and Cole Hocker placed fourth.

TOKYO, Japan — Two University of Oregon (UO) track and field stars competed in the men's 1,500 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics Monday evening.

Current Ducks sophomore Cole Hocker, who placed fourth, went go head-to-head against the defending gold medalist, Matt Centrowitz, who graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011. Centrowitz placed second.

Centrowitz earned a gold medal in the 1,500 meter race back in 2016 at the Tokyo Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. He was the first Olympian representing the U.S. to capture a gold in the event in 108 years. Centrowitz finished in fourth place at the 2012 Olympics in London.

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Hocker beat Centrowitz at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene in June, finishing in first place. He finished in a personal best 3 minutes, 35.28 seconds, edging Centrowitz, who came in second place with 3:35.34.

"We're having fun, there's no bad blood between me and Cole. I respect the crap out of that guy," said Centrowitz after the Olympic Trials.

Two weeks before the Olympic Trials, Hocker won the NCAA Outdoor Championships title, taking down 2019 NCAA champion Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame. 

"I might've been shocked if last year you would've told me that I won the 1,500-meter," said Hocker after his final race at the trials. "Throughout the season I have been proving to myself I can run and belong here." 

Emmanuel Ihemeje, who is a freshman at UO, will represent Italy in the men's triple jump Monday night.