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Roundup: Lagat earns golden double to anchor U.S. dominace in athletics worlds
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08:47, September 03, 2007

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Bernard Lagat completed the first 1,500m and 5,000m double in world championship history on the last day's competition of the world championships on Sunday as the United States increased their gold tally to 14.

The Kenya-born Lagat beat the 2003 champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya in the 5,000m in 13 minutes 45.87 seconds. Kipchoge clocked 13:46.00 for the silver and Moses Ndiema Kipsiro of Uganda won bronze in 13:46.75.

The U.S. team were also victorious in the men's and women's 4x400m relays.

Lagat, who was banned for three years after becoming a U.S. citizen in 2004, won the 1,500m title on Wednesday.

Kenya won two more gold medals on Sunday, with one from youngster Alfred Kirwa Yego in the men's 800m and the other from 35-year-old Catherine Ndereba in the women's marathon.

Yego scored a surprise win when he outsprinted Canada's Gary Reed in the final meters in 1:47.09, followed by Reed in 1:47.10 and Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakoviskiy of Russia in 1:47.39.

Ndereba, the 2003 world titlist, pulled away from China's London marathon winner Zhou Chinxiu with 200 meters to go and won in 2:30:37 in Osaka's sweltering heat.

Zhou took the silver and became China's first marathon medalist in major global championships in 2:30:45, and Reiko Tosa earned hosts Japan's first medal in 2:30:55.

"I guess it was the toughest marathon of my career. It was so hot," said Ndereba, also the Olympic silver medalist. The temperatures soared up to 30 degrees although the race started at seven.

Blanka Vlasic cleared 2.05 meters to win the women's high jump, becoming the first Croatian to claim a medal at the world championships.

The 23-year-old from Split jumped over 2.05 meters when her last two remaining rivals failed at the same height. She failed with three attempts to set a new record at 2.10m after sealing the gold.

Russia's Anna Chicherova and Antonietta Di Martino of Italy finished tied for second after clearing 2.03m.

Finland also got its first gold in Osaka through Tero Pitkamaki in the men's javelin throw with 90.33 meters. Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway took the silver in 88.61m and American Breaux Greer was third with 86.21m.

Defending champion Andrus Varnik of Estonia was eliminated in qualifying.

The day's other gold medal was won by Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal, who clocked a season best of 3:58.75 in women's 1,500m race. Russia's Yelena Soboleva was second in 3:58.99 and Ukraine's Iryna Lishchynska took the bronze in 4:00.69.

The U.S. team topped the medal standings with 14 gold, four silver and eight bronze, far ahead of Kenya with 5-3-5 and Russia with 4-9-3.

A total of 22 countries and regions won gold medals and 47 left their sign on the medal standings.

Source: Xinhua



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