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Lagat wins 1,500m bronze in Berlin

Date: 
08/20/2009 - 11:51

Lagat_BernardSt-WC098-20-09.jpgfrom USATF - BERLIN - Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat came storming back from behind in the men's 1,500m final to win the bronze medal Wednesday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.
2007 world 1,500m and 5,000m champion Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) broke quickly at the gun and assumed command for the first 100 meters of the men's 1,500m final before drifting back into second place where he settled in for the better part of the next two laps. With two laps to go the entire field remained in a single pack with about 10 yards separating the front from the back. At the bell, Lagat was third with 2008 Olympian and 2009 USA Outdoor 1,500m champion Lopez Lomong (Tucson, Ariz.) in sixth place.
With 200 meters left, Lagat had drifted back to eighth place, and with 80 meters remaining Lagat was in fifth place on the rail and blocked in with no place to go, when all of a sudden he jumped out to lane 3 and kicked it into gear. Lagat's famous kick served him well as he made up ground on the field and managed to take over third place by the time he crossed the finish line in 3:36.20.
With his performance, Lagat becomes the first American man to win two medals in the 1,500m at the World Outdoor Championships. National Track & Field Hall of Famer Steve Scott won the silver medal in 1983, and Jim Spivey won bronze in 1987.
2008 Olympic Games 800m fifth-place finisher Yusuf Saad Kamel (BRN) won the race in 3:35.93, with Deresse Mekonnen (ETH) finishing as the runner-up in 3:36.01.
Lomong, who finished 12th in his semifinal at the 2008 Olympics, finished eighth in the final in 3:37.62, and 2008 Olympian and 2008 NCAA 1,500m champion Leonel Manzano (Austin, Tex.) finished 12th in 3:40.05. This marked the first time that three Americans have competed in a 1,500m final at a World Outdoor Championships.
Malone has best finish ever at Worlds or Olympic Games
2004 Olympian and 1996 World Junior champion Casey Malone saved his best throw for last and ended up with his best placing ever in a men's discus final at a major international championship.
Malone's sixth and final throw of 66.06 meters/216 feet 9 inches was good enough for fifth place in the final standings. Malone's previous best placing at a Worlds or Olympics was when he finished sixth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Malone's fifth-place finish was the best by an American since Ian Waltz placed fifth at the 2005 Championships in Helsinki.
2004 Olympian and 2009 USA Championships runner-up Jarred Rome, who finished seventh in 2005 in Helsinki, finished 11th this evening with a best of 62.47m/204-11.
Hardee, Eaton in decathlon medal contention
After posting a personal best earlier this morning in the long jump (7.83m/25-8.25) and holding the lead in the competition after three events, reigning U.S. decathlon champion and 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up Trey Hardee (Austin, Tex.) currently sits in third place with five more events scheduled for tomorrow.
Hardee ended the day by easily winning his heat of the 400 meters in a season's best time of 48.13 seconds, and has tallied 4,511 points over the first five events. He sits just one point behind first day second placer Junior Diaz of Cuba and trails leader Oleksiy Kasyanov (UKR) by 44 points.
Two-time NCAA champion and 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) also set a personal best in today's long jump (7.85m/25-9.25). Eaton currently sits in fifth place with 4,355 points.
Two-time NCAA champion Jake Arnold (Santa Rosa, Calif.) finished day 1 of the decathlon in 27th place with 3,960 points. The competition starts again at 10:05 a.m. local time with the 110m hurdles.
Harper posts personal best in 100m hurdles semis
Reigning Olympic and U.S. champion Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), who set a new personal best earlier this evening in the women's 100m hurdles semis (12.48), was not as fortunate a couple hours later in the final at Olympic Stadium.
Shortly after the gun went off Harper hit the second hurdle and that threw her rhythm off for the remainder of the race and she finished seventh in 12.81 seconds.
Two-time USA Outdoor champion and 2005 World Championships fifth-place finisher Ginnie Powell crossed the finish line in sixth place in 12.81.
Jamaican 2008 Olympic Games finalist Brigitte Foster-Hylton won the race in a season's best 12.51, with Canada's 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep the runner-up in 12.54. Jamaican Olympic finalist Delloreen Ennis-London finished third in a season's best 12.55.
2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry (Winter Garden, Fla.) finished third in the second of three semi finals in 12.76 and did not advance.
Crawford, Spearmon & Clark move on to men's 200m final
2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles, Calif.), looked strong running out of lane six in the first of two semifinals in the men's 200 meters. Crawford qualified for the final with little difficulty, finishing third in 20.35 seconds.
2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist and 2007 world championships bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Tex.) broke well at the gun in the second semi final and had the lead after the first 100 meters. Spearmon kept the quick opening pace up the rest of the way and won easily in 20.14.
Crawford and Spearmon will be joined in Thursday night's final by 2009 NCAA Outdoor champion and runner-up at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships Charles Clark of Virginia Beach, Va. Although he's a rookie at the World Championships, Clark showed a great deal of poise in finishing third by running a season's best time of 20.27 in the second semi final.
Wariner, Merritt advance to 400m final
2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas) clearly held the lead with 200 meters to go in the first of three men's 200m semifinals. Wariner, who ran in bright red shoes, ran comfortably the rest of the way before crossing the finish line first in 44.69.
2008 Olympic gold medalist and world ranked #1 LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.) ran the fastest time in the world this season in winning heat 2 in 44.37. Merritt's performance betters his own previous world leader of 44.50 from his win in Baie Mahault on May 1. Wariner and Merritt will next do battle Friday night in the men's 400m final.
Fourth place finisher at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships Lionel Larry (Compton, Calif.) finished sixth in the third semifinal in 45.85 and will not advance.
Team USA women all advance in 200 meters
Two-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) put it on cruise control with 60 meters remaining in the third of six opening round heats in the women's 200 meters. Felix sailed through to the next round with an easy win in 22.88 seconds.
2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Muna Lee (College Station, Tex.) ran out of lane 7 in heat 2 and grabbed command of the race at the top of the straightaway. Lee went on to win the race in a season's best time of 22.76.
2008 Olympic Games fifth-place finisher Marshevet Hooker (Pflugerville, Tex.) responded to the challenge of running in lane 8 of heat 4 by winning in a season's best time of 22.51. 2009 USA Outdoor Championships fourth-place finisher Charonda Williams (Richmond, Calif.) looked strong in her first ever action at a World Outdoor Championships in finishing second in heat 1 in 23.08. The semi finals will take place Thursday evening.
Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
Gold (3)
Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50
Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.), women's 400m, 49.00
Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Fla.) men's 400m hurdles, 47.91
Silver (2)
Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 9.71
Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault 4.65m/15-3
Bronze (3)
Carmelita Jeter (Inglewood, Calif.) women's 100 meters, 10.90
Bershawn Jackson (Savoy, Ill.) men's 400m hurdles, 48.23
Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) men's 1,500 meters, 3:36.20.
For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit www.usatf.org. Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at www.universalsports.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/mediaCoverage.asp.
For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/.

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