Thursday, January 28, 2010

A great video and read on Bernard Lagat in advance of the Millrose Games...

In advance of Friday's Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York, former Washington State University standout Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) has been doing several public and media appearances promoting the Wanamaker Mile, where he's racing to claim his eighth win at Madison Square Garden.

Lagat has seven Wanamaker Mile wins and is tied with Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan for the most wins ever in the prestigious event. The Millrose Games will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. PT with the Wanamaker Mile set to race at 6:50 p.m. PT.

Beijing Olympic 1500 meter champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya will be Lagat's primary opponent, after Ethiopia's Deresse Mekonnen withdrew from the meet.

Courtesy of 1050 ESPN in New York, here's a video interview with Lagat, conducted by host Brandon Tierney.

Meanwhile, here's a link to an excellent piece on Lagat written by former Sports Illustrated writer and 1972 Olympic marathon 4th place finisher Kenny Moore, who in my honest opinion is still one of the best writers in the sport.

In Moore's classic style, he writes, "Bernard Kipchirchir ("Call me Kip") Lagat is now in his 12th season of being ranked among the finest milers and middle-distance runners in the world. You cannot retrace the Kenyan-born American's magnificent career without crying out, ever more jealously: Just how? How can he still compete at the highest level when his bronze in the 1500 meters in the Sydney Olympics was a decade ago? How can he still be a threat when he ran his best time, 3:26.34, the second fastest 1500 ever, back in 2001? How could he not be sated after he took silver in the 1500 at the 2004 Olympics in Athens? How does he continue to win the Wanamaker Mile, the most famous indoor mile in the world, year in, year out (seven straight and counting), when younger runners with younger legs are chasing him? How on earth did he keep right on after becoming a U.S. citizen and winning the world 1500- and 5000-meter championships in 2007? How does he stay so eager when the champions he battled, including the most notable, Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj, have long since quit?"

To read the full article, please click here.

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