Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lagat gets silver to close out world championships...

BERLIN, Germany--Washington State University graduate and defending world champion Bernard Lagat's (left/photo by Paul Merca) quest to retain the championship over 5000 meters that he won in Osaka two years ago fell just short, as he battled Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele in an epic clash over the final 100 meters of the race at the Olympiastadion.

After a slow first 800 meters, run in 2:20, the pace gradually picked up, with the two leading contenders always near the front of the pack.

Once the race reached the 3000 meter mark in 8:14.63, the last two kilometers were run slightly under 5:03, with the last 200 meters covered unofficially under 25 seconds.

Describing the last lap, and specifically the last 100, Lagat said, "I was determined to not let Bekele leave me. When he moved, I moved. In the last lap, they started going hard. With 80 to go, he went, and I passed him with 50 to go. He came back at me with 40 to go, and we struggled over 20 meters."

"I gave it all I had today. I really wanted to retain my title, and wanted to defend it really, really bad. There was nothing more important than for me to defend my title. However, after the finish, after I realized that I lost to a great champion, I wasn't disappointed. In the 1500, I got bronze, and today I got the silver. What I achieved here in this meet is a step ahead of what I did last year, because of the injury."

Following up on our earlier post on the women's marathon, 2008 Olympic Trials 5,000m champion and 10,000m runner-up Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.) was the top U.S. finisher at the women's World Marathon Cup competition Sunday through the streets of Berlin. The race was contested under mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the low 70's.

Goucher, who stayed with the main pack for the majority of the race, finished 10th in a season's best time of 2 hours 27 minutes 48 seconds. Goucher's finish is the highest by an American woman in the World Championships marathon since Linda Somers finished seventh in 1995.

Goucher was closely followed by 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon fifth-place finisher Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, Mich.), who finished 11th in 2:27:53, which greatly improves on her previous personal best of 2:31:33 set last year in Chicago.

2008 Olympic Trials marathon fifth-place finisher Tera Moody (Boulder, Colo.) rounded out the scoring for Team USA as she placed 28th in 2:36:39 to give the U.S. its combined time of 7:32:20.

After the race, Goucher saiid, "-My legs felt great, and I felt really relaxed. It was great to have a loop course where my husband and coach could yell at me. The pace felt comfortable, and it felt like practice."

"I had a lot of problems keeping my fluids down. After the second personal fluid station, I started throwing up what I took in. I would start taking it, then a mile later, I'd throw up."

"I started to cramp with 13k to go, and then the field started to surge. It wasn't there. I just wasn't good enough today. I thought I hydrated myself well leading up to the race."

"When the field made their break, my body wouldn't go. "

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

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