Friday, September 11, 2009

Lagat, Israel & Thurmond compete in Thessaloniki at IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final...

THESSALONIKI, Greece--For most of the world's elite track and field athletes, the 2009 season comes to a conclusion Saturday and Sunday with the IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final meeting in northern Greece.

Washington State University graduate Bernard Lagat is entered in the 3000 meters on Saturday, where he will try and upset Ethiopia's double world champion Kenenisa Bekele.

Lagat last year broke the east African hold on the WAF distances when he took the 3000m title. The 2007 double World champion followed up admirably in Berlin, taking 1500m bronze and 5000m silver, the latter in an epic battle with Bekele in a race not decided until the last 70 meters.

A pair of former University of Washington discus throwers in Mart Israel and Aretha Thurmond will also participate this weekend.

Estonia's Israel is coming off a disappointing performance in Berlin last month, where he was injured during the discus qualifying round and failed to make the finals. The men's discus will be held Saturday.

The veteran Thurmond from Federal Way finished tenth in the finals of the discus last month, her best placing at the world championships. She'll throw on Sunday.

The start list can be accessed here.

The IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final will be aired live on starting at 8:15 am pacific Saturday and Sunday.

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