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Lagat waves the flag in first win as American athlete

Lagat waves the flag in first win as American athlete

Bernard Lagat won the 1,500 meters at the Norwich Union indoor meet on Saturday for his first win as U.S. athlete.
Lagat led from the start and won in 3 minutes, 45.55 seconds, beating former Kenyan teammate Laban Rotich by just over a second.
Lagat switched to U.S. citizenship after winning silver in the 1,500 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics, but couldn't compete at any major championships for three years under international rules.
The 32-year-old Lagat completed a victory lap Saturday clutching the flag of his adopted country.
"It's my first time holding the American flag, so it's very special," he said. "This is the beginning of many times that I will be able to carry the flag high for the United States."
Lagat will go for his fifth win in the Wanamaker Mile at New York's Millrose Games on Friday, and then gold at this year's world championships in Osaka, Japan. He missed the 2005 worlds.
Lagat studied at Washington State University in the late 1990s, so is already used to having American fans cheering for him.
"I didn't have Kenyans over there but I had Americans cheering for Washington State," he said. "But this is different because I am carrying the flag. I'm very proud to be part of the American milers."
Other winners for the United States on Saturday were Aarik Wilson in the long jump, Milton Campbell in the 200 meters and Richard Smith, who had his first victory this season in the 800.
Wilson won with 7.81 meters _ 13 centimeters ahead of Germany's Nils Winter.
"I am feeling good after good winter training," Wilson said. "Now (I will) go back home and work to transfer this feeling I have into the outdoor season."
Campbell won the 200 in 21.05 seconds from the outside lane despite describing himself as "still in third gear."
Australia's Paul Burgess won the pole vault with a leap of 5.75 meters after 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson crashed out at 5.60.
Moushaumi Robinson, who won gold as part of the United States' 4x400 relay team in Athens, finished third behind Germany's Corinna Fink in the 400.
Olympic triple jump champion Christian Olsson set a stadium record with his 17.20-meter winning leap. World high jump champion Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden won her event with 1.95 meters, but failed three times at 1.98 _ 10 centimeters below the world indoor record she set in February.
Sweden also did well in the women's sprints, with Susanna Kallur taking the 60 meters and 60 meters hurdles.
Britain's 20-year-old Craig Pickering won the men's sprint in a personal best 6.55 seconds, comfortably beating Jason Gardener. In other results, Britain's Andrew Turner won the 60 hurdles in 7.69 and Germany's Bastian Swillims took the 400 in 47.07 seconds.
British women also performed well, with wins by Joice Maduaka in the 200, Marilyn Okoro in the 800 and Lisa Dobriskey in the 1,500.
The meet was a warmup for the European indoor championships, taking place in Birmingham, England, from March 2-4.


Updated : 2021-06-25 03:44 GMT+08:00