Bernard Lagat (USA) ends a wonderfully well judged race by taking the World Indoor 3000m gold in Doha, a title which he last won in 2004 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Lagat, the world champion over both 1500m and 5000m at the World Championships in Osaka 2007, will arrive to the Aviva London Grand Prix as the man to beat, following his victory over the distance last March at the World Indoor Championships in Doha. The American is the third fastest athlete over 3000m this season and is relishing his encounter with Farah.
Lagat said: “I’m very much looking forward to running again at Crystal Palace; it’s a stadium and a meeting from which I’ve got many good memories. I’ve been fortunate to have run there many times, in fact have won over 1500, Mile and 5000 in London so I’ll be looking forward to the opportunity to add the 3000.
“This year in particular I’ll be looking forward to running against Mo Farah. There will of course be many other good athletes however I think of Mo because he’ll be coming back from the European Championships. I know he’s in good shape and I’ll be following keenly his progress in Barcelona!
“My own form has been pretty good this year. After winning the World Indoors at 3000 in March I broke the US record for 5000 metres at the end of May. I just ran 1500 metres in 3:32.51 in Monaco in a really strong and competitive race. This is pretty good for me and indicates I’m likely to be in good shape for the 3000 distance. That’s what still motivates me; being fit and ready to give my best against other strong athletes. I know Mo and others will make the race tough and I look forward to the challenge.”
Farah, who prepared for Barcelona at the Aviva altitude preparation camp, will contest the 10,000m on Tuesday (27) and the 5000m on Saturday. However, he is also ready for the challenge that awaits him at the Aviva London Grand Prix.
“Lagat is one of the best athletes in the world," Farah said. "He’s won a lot of medals and this year he beat everybody at the Indoor World Championships in this distance. I love competing against the best and I’m sure it will be great race for the spectators.
“I feel really confident about my possibilities. At the Aviva British Grand Prix In Gateshead just weeks ago I achieved a personal best in the 5000m and only one European athlete has run faster than me this season, so I hope I will come back from Barcelona with a medal for the athletics supporters.”
And, of course, the Aviva London Grand Prix will be the perfect place to celebrate European success in front of thousands of enthusiastic British supporters.
“It’s always a privilege to compete at Crystal Palace. The atmosphere there is unbelievable and, as a Londoner myself, it is a great feeling to run at home. I am really looking forward to the meet and, hopefully, I will compete there after success in the European Championships.”
Organisers for the IAAF