Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lagat gets silver in 3000 at world indoors in Sopot...

SOPOT, Poland--Washington State University track & field hall of famer Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport)  finished second in the finals of the men's 3000 meter run Sunday, as his attempt to win a fourth world title just fell short at Ergo Arena.

A relatively slow first kilometer of 2:48.83 saw the group of twelve athletes bunched, with Lagat positioning in the middle of the pack, making sure that he had enough space to cover any moves.

A second kilometer of 2:43.53 did little to shake the order, as New Zealand's Zane Robertson went to the front to try and keep the pace honest.

With all the major players towards the front in the last five laps, eventual winner Caleb Ndiku of Kenya got himself to the front of the pack with Lagat, the defending champion, positioned just to the outside.

When the real racing began, Lagat, just as he was at the world outdoor championships in Moscow last summer, was positioned perfectly, but as they entered the home straight for the last 50 meters, the 39 year old just could not find that final gear needed to overtake Ndiku.

Ndiku stopped the watches in 7:54.94, with Lagat second in 7:55.22, and Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel third in 7:55.39.

Oregon alum Galen Rupp, who was among those contending, finished fourth in 7:55.84.

After the race, he told USA Track & Field, “The game plan was that we envisioned the race to go like that and to run the last 6 laps, maybe 5. So I was prepared to run hard and I didn’t want to get boxed in. That’s why I ran a bit of an unusual race on the outside, because I didn’t want to get boxed in. That’s why I wanted to run on the outside when it was the right time. I wanted to be on the outside and I stuck to that plan. I left it too long but I could have gone even closer to them. It was tough maneuvering through to try to get to the guy in front.”

Here is a video interview with Lagat, courtesy of the IAAF:

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

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