x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Lagat is living the dream

The Kenyan-born athlete Bernard Lagat sprinted to victory in the men's 1,500 metres to claim his second Olympic berth at the American trials.

Bernard Lagat wins the men's 1500m at the American Olympic trials.
Bernard Lagat wins the men's 1500m at the American Olympic trials.

EUGENE // The Kenyan-born athlete Bernard Lagat sprinted to victory in the men's 1,500 metres to claim his second Olympic berth at the American trials. Lagat surged to the lead with 250 metres to go and used his superior speed to win the race in 3min 40.37sec on the final day of the trials on Sunday. The world 1,500m and 5,000m champion had earlier won the 5,000m at his first American Olympic trials. He had twice won Olympic medals in the colours of Kenya at the 1,500m distance.

The Mexican-born Leonel Manzano held on to take second in 3-40.90. Lopez Lomong, born in Sudan before becoming an American citizen like Lagat and Manzano, was third in 3-41.00. Lagat said: "It shows that America is the place where dreams can happen. The three of us are living the American dream." The final day of the 10-day trials also produced some outstanding but often wind-assisted sprinting and hurdling and a national women's pole vault record of 4.92 metres by world indoor silver medallist Jenn Stuczynski.

She struggled early, needing three attempts to clear her opening height of 4.60m. She would not have made the team had she failed at that height. Walter Dix pipped the Olympic champion Shawn Crawford at the line to win the men's 200m. Dix said: "I started to cramp a little at the end, but I finished. I'm very happy." The injured world champion Tyson Gay watched the race on television. He was eliminated in the 200m quarter-finals on Saturday after straining a leg muscle and cannot represent the US in the event. He will run the 100m and 4x100m relay in Beijing.

Allyson Felix took the women's 200m race in a wind-assisted time of 21.82sec. She hopes to compete in the 200m and both relays at next month's Olympics. David Oliver beat the two-time Olympic silver medallist Terrence Trammell for the men's 110m hurdles title in a wind-assisted 12.95sec. Trammell and David Payne complete the team. The world indoor champion Lolo Jones was even more impressive in the women's 100m hurdles with a speedy 12.29sec that was assisted by a 3.8 metres per second wind. No American has ever run faster under any conditions.

* Reuters