Monday, August 17, 2009

Bernard Lagat moves one step closer to defending world title in 1500...

BERLIN, Germany--Defending world champion Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) moved one step closer to defending his title and a potential matchup against Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, as he advanced to the finals of Wednesday night’s 1500 meter finals Monday night at the Olympiastadion.

Using the same tactics he did in the first round, Lagat kept himself out of trouble, as he cruised to a third place finish in the first heat of the semi-finals, running 3:36.75, just behind Amine Laalou (3:36.68) of Morocco and Lopez Lomong (3:36.75) of the United States.

In the mixed zone after the race, Lagat told the IAAF media services that Wednesday’s final sets up to be an exciting conclusion.

He agreed that defending his title will be a challenge, and that it will be tough.

“The final is going to come down to the last 600 meters. I’m glad that three US guys are in the finals, and this is incredible.”

In Tuesday’s competition, Marysville-Pilchuck graduate Jarred Rome, Washington State University graduate Ian Waltz, and former University of Washington standout Mart Israel all will throw in the qualifying round of the men’s discus, beginning at 10:05 am, Berlin time (1:05 am in Seattle).

In the evening session, Rainier Beach High School graduate Ginnie Powell begins her quest in the 100 meter hurdles at 6:10 pm, local time (9:10 am in Seattle).

For more information on the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, please visit

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