Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lagat's American Record over 5000 earns him USATF athlete of the week honors...

Washington State alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after improving his own American Record in the 5,000m at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League meet on July 22.

Lagat finished second to Mo Farah of Great Britain, who trains in Beaverton under coach Alberto Salazar, in a time of 12:53.60. Lagat previously held the American Record from his 2010 effort in Oslo, Norway, where he ran 12:54.12.

After the race, Lagat’s biggest fans, his kids, reacted with mixed emotions.

“No, my kids do not understand the American Record. All they know is who wins, or if I got a trophy,” Lagat said. “When I told him after the race, that I got the American Record, Miika asked, ‘But Mo won?’ After I explained that I was the fastest American, then he said ‘good job, daddy’ and gave me a hug.”

Lagat’s next race will be at the Samsung Diamond League Aviva Grand Prix in London, August 5-6 before he travels to South Korea for the IAAF World Championships, where he will only contest the 5000, an event where he finished second two years ago in Berlin.

“My goal for this year is gold in Daegu,” Lagat said. “So, celebrations [with my family] will have to wait until September.”

In Daegu, the local organizing committee for next month's world championships held a special countdown event to celebrate the fact that there are now just 30 days more to go to the start of the championships.

IAAF president Lamine Diack issued a statement to the people of Korea expressing his thoughts on making the final push to welcome the world to Daegu.

You can read his note here.

NOTE: USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

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