Sunday, September 2, 2007

World Champs Wrap-Up

Bernard Lagat brought home America's second distance medal, this time in the 5000 meters. This double is quite difficult, especially considering all the extra rounds Lagat had to run to qualify for BOTH the 1500 and 5000 final. The story here is that the other runners served the race to Lagat on a silver platter. Having already run the 1500, and having the best miling credentials in the house, Bernie must have been in disbelief when no one else pushed the pace to try to run away from him. He threw down a killer 1:51 last 800 meters (one-half of a 3:42 mile, folks) to eek out the win. Slideshow here. Matt Tegenkamp had an impressive 4th place finish for the American team, as well.
Other runners in the 1500 and 5000 have one year to work on a strategy for taking both races out hard, so Lagat can't sit-and-kick again. With the heat of Beijing (+ the smog) it will take someone willing to risk last place.

Another Beijing storyline will be the Chinese female distance runners vs. drug-testing technology. China wants this Olympics to be its coronation as the center of the 21st century universe; will a wave of dominant female distance runners (and swimmers, and bikers...) emerge suddenly to be the heralds of a new age? Cue Galactus music...

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