MOSCOW, Russia--Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat's (left/photo by Paul Merca) bid for a fourth straight world championships medal in the 5000 meters as a member of Team USA fell short, as the veteran finished out of the podium in sixth place.
Lagat, the reigning USA national champion who entered the meet with a season best of 13:07.76, was reluctantly up front and led for about 500 meters before ceding it to Kenya's Isiah Koech, who took the field through the first kilometer in 2:45.12.
Defending world and Olympic champion Mo Farah then took the group through the next kilometer in 5:38.11, slowing it down to 2:52.99.
The pace picked up marginally as Koech went to the front, leading the field to a 2:45.68 third kilometer.
Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet ramped up the pace in kilometer number four, running 2:36.91, with all the known kickers, including Lagat, positioned perfectly as they exited the turn for the final two laps.
In that last kilometer, Farah and the rest of the field began shuffling around for position, knowing that the last lap would be fast. Lagat was positioned in around third or fourth as they entered the final lap.
Down the backstretch, Farah and a group of three opened up a gap on Lagat that he could not recover from.
Farah successfully defended his world championship, running 13:26.98, with Ethiopia's Gebrihwet second at 13:27.26, and Koech third at 13:27.36.
Lagat crossed the line in 13:29.24, with American teammates Galen Rupp eighth at 13:29.24, and Ryan Hill tenth at 13:32.69.
"I was perfectly positioned, but my legs just didn't have it," said Lagat in the mixed zone.
"I have no injury, and I have no excuse. The race went better than I expected, but there are guys running better than me right now, and I gave it my best."
When asked if missing time with the injury that caused him to drop out in Monaco last month may have affected him, he said that it wasn't a factor, but instead it helped him.