Cabral Qualifies for Olympic Final; Leads Most of Heat
Photo taken by Peter Callahan '13, one of Donn Cabral's many Princeton teammates in attendance in London.
Race Replay (heat 3 begins at 3:28 mark)
It isn't easy for Donn Cabral '12 to build on an already-historic few months, but the 2012 NCAA champion and Roper Trophy recipient did it again Friday morning. Now he will race for Olympic gold.
Cabral took the immediate lead in the third of three morning heats and held position until the final lap. As the bell rang, several steeplers challenged for one of the top four positions and automatic berths into the final. Algerian Mohamed Belabbas took the lead momentarily. Cabral dropped back into fifth on the final water pit but used his kick in the final straight away to push back into the critical fourth position.
Ethiopia's Roba Gari won the heat at 8:20.68, followed by Kenya's Exekiel Kemboi at 8:20.97. Morroco's Hamid Ezzine was just ahead of Cabral at 8:21.25, while Cabral crossed at 8:21.46.
"That was probably the most fun I've ever had mid-race in my life," Cabral said following the race.
USA's Evan Jager will also run in the final after taking second in the first heat at 8:16.61. A total of 15 will run for Olympic gold on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 4:25 p.m. EDT.