Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lagat posts world leader in 3000 in Stuttgart...

STUTTGART, Germany--Running what essentially is a home meet for him, former Washington State standout Bernard Lagat, who has his summer training base in nearby Tubigen, won the men's 3000 at the Sparkassen Cup Saturday, clocking a world-leading time of 7:35.41.

Coming off an impressive mile win in New York last weekend, Lagat was unquestionably in good condition, and there was speculation that he might attack his own American record of 7:32.43. But the pacing was a bit slow for this kind of time, and perhaps more importantly, the contest proved to be a bit more tactical than he had anticipated. Winning, after all, is still an important part of the game.

After the final tempo-setter departed at the 2000-metre mark, Shadrack Korir of Kenya held the lead in a tight group with Lagat and Abreham Cherkos of Ethiopia. After another lap, at 2200, Lagat took over the lead and Cherkos followed, with Korir seemingly content to watch from a close distance.

That’s the way things stayed until the trio approached the bell. Suddenly, the Ethiopian bolted forward to the lead as Lagat followed suit. On the final back stretch, the American played his trump card, showing the final gear needed to pull out the win. Cherkos held second at 7:36.36 ahead of the 7:37.09 third-place clocking of Korir.

NOTE: The IAAF contributed to this report.

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