Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brad Walker & Bernard Lagat easily qualify for finals..


OSAKA, Japan—Mountlake Terrace resident Brad Walker (left, /photo by Paul Merca), a former University of Washington standout, took only three jumps Thursday night at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships to advance to Saturday night’s pole vault finals.

Walker, who is one of the favorites to win the world title, and who has the highest vault in the world this year at 19-6 1/4, successfully cleared 18-2 1/2 on his first attempt, then needed two attempts to make 18-8 1/4. The former Washington Husky was one of seven men to successfully clear 18-8 1/4.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Walker said, “Cleared 5.70 meters (18-8 1/4) and luckily got the chance to shut it down. It's anybody's game, and I am sure there will be a lot of people in the mix in the finals.”

The newly crowned world champion at 1500 meters, Bernard Lagat, was one of three Americans qualifying for the men's 5,000m final on Sunday night for the first time in World Championships history, along with Matt Tegenkamp and Adam Goucher.

Lagat showed no fatigue from his gold-medal performance in Wednesday night's 1,500m final, easily advancing by placing third in Heat 1 of the 5 km semifinals in 13:46.57.

“The key was to make it into the finals. I'm glad I did it. I need to save as much energy as I can. Of course there was no celebration after yesterday, but I did not have a good sleep, as the film about the 1500m final was running in my head,” Lagat told the IAAF media crew, before being hustled off to the ceremony where he received his world championship gold medal.

The only athlete with ties to the state of Washington scheduled to compete is Washington State grad Anson Henry in the first round of the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay. Henry, who is competing for Canada, was sixth in the semifinals of the 100-meter dash. It is possible the Canadians may rest him for the finals on Saturday night.

For more information on the IAAF World Track & Field Championships, please visit http://www.osaka2007.iaaf.org.

For more information on Washington state-affiliated athletes competing at the world championships in Osaka, please visit http://paulmerca.blogspot.com.

1 comment:

Database Diva said...

It's great to see the U.S. at the top of the chart with 19 medals! The next 2 days should be really intense.

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