06 MAR 2004 General News

Men 3000m Final

As unlikely as it may seem, Kenya had not claimed a world title in the men's 3000 metres until Bernard Lagat crossed the line this evening in 7:56.34.

Australian record holder Craig Mottram pushed the pace after a slowish 4:17.8 first half, bringing the field through 2000 metres in 5:33.01, with Lagat, Ethiopian Markos Geneti and Rui Silva behind in single file. The order shifted with 600m to go, with Lagat, Geneti Silva and Spaniard Antonio David Jimenez passing the fading Australian.

At the bell, Silva, the 2001 indoor champion at 1500 metres, challenged for the lead, but the Kenyan would not yield.  Content, Silva reached the line in 7:57.08, with Geneti taking the bronze in 7:57.87.  Spaniards Jimenez (7:58.23) and Sergio Gallardo (7:58.96) were fourth and fifth.

The second half was covered in 3:38.5, faster than the two previous World Indoor Championships 1500m races.