SOPOT, Poland--Nick Symmonds (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, along with the ageless wonder Bernard Lagat begin their quest for a world title Friday as the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field championships get underway at the Ergo Arena.
Symmonds, who won a silver medal at the IAAF world outdoor championships last summer, begins his run towards a world title early Friday morning, as his semi-final in the men's 800 meters gets underway at 1:30 pm local time (4:30 am in Seattle).
Symmonds is in the second of three semi-final heats, with only the winner, plus the three fastest non-winning times from the three heats advancing to Sunday's finals. He has a season best of 1:48.48, which is only the fifth fastest time in his heat. Among those in his heat include Andre Olivier of South Africa, with a season best of 1:44.99, and Polish favorite Marcin Lewandowski.
Washington State alum and Team USA captain Lagat, the oldest competitor at the world indoor championships, is looking to earn his fourth career world championship at 3000 meters, having won in Budapest in 2004, Doha in 2010, and Istanbul two years ago.
Lagat is running Friday in a field of ten runners in the second of two semi-finals, with the top four advancing to Sunday's finals, along with the four fastest times from the two heats not in the top four. His race gets underway at 8:25 pm local time (11:25 am in Seattle).
Should both advance to Sunday's finals, Symmonds would run at 5:20 pm local time (9:20 am in Seattle), and Lagat at 4:10 pm local time (8:10 am in Seattle).