(L-R) Bernard Lagat of the United States celebrates as crosses the line to win gold ahead of Mo Farah of Great Britain Edwin Sol of Kenya and Augustine Choge of Kenya in the Men’s 3000 Metres Final during day three - WIC Istanbul (Getty Images) © Copyright

EVENT REPORT - Men's 3000 Metres - Final

[NOTE: Please see TWO Jury of Appeals decisions regarding this race at the foot of the report. -Ed.]

You just can’t keep a good old man down, apparently. Not if his name is Bernard Lagat, anyway.

Lagat, the supreme tactician, took his second consecutive World Indoor 3000 metres title after a pulsating race dominated for much of the way by the minor medallists, Kenya’s Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi.

Lagat was next in line pretty well throughout, except for a brief period when Mo Farah, World 5000 metres champion, took over. When it came to the decisive sprint, however, it was Lagat in front and Farah somehow found himself behind his two Kenyan rivals again.

In a final lap covered in just over 26 seconds, that proved to be critical. Lagat sprinted to the line to take the gold medal in 7:41.44 seconds, a season’s best.

Try as he might, Farah could not find a way between, past, under or over the two Kenyan runners. Just two hundredths of a second separated the trio as they cross the line, but it was silver to Choge in 7:41.77, bronze to Soi in 7:41.78 and fourth to Farah in 7:41.79. You cannot get much closer than that without ending up with a cigar. It was the closest 2-3-4 finish in championships’ history and, in fact the closest 1-2-3-4.

It is the third title at the distance for Lagat, who is three months beyond his 37th birthday. It almost goes without saying that he is the event’s oldest winner.

Choge and Soi set the final up at a solid pace. Choge led through the first 1000 metres in 2:38.45, Soi led at 2000 in 5:16.92 (thought Choge had still led most of that stanza as well).

Then things started to happen. Just as runners started to move up from the back of the elongated field, the charge for home began. Those who moved forward at that time – including Australia’s Craig Mottram – found to their cost that their own move was seen, and raised, by the leaders.

The third and second-last laps flashed by at sub-59 second 400 metres pace, and that was before the final sprint. After 2000 metres at a pace of around 7:55, the last 1000 occupied just 2:24.52. And at the end of it all, Bernard Lagat was exactly where he was in Doha two years ago. The margin may have been a mere two metres, but it was impregnable.

Lagat, of course, will have to qualify for London through the cut-throat US trials. But on the evidence produced both in Istanbul and the rest of the indoor season, he remains a gold medal threat at 5000 metres.

Of the rest, the Ethiopian pair Dejen Gebrmeskel and Yenew Alamirew, were never factors, finishing fifth and ninth, respectively. Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro raced at the back of the pack early and got up to seventh; Mottram, as noted, came from the back to the front half of the field in the 11th lap, but having accelerated to do that, found himself immediately needing yet another gear.

Len Johnson for the IAAF

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Sunday 11 March, 2012

Time: 16:48

Event: 3000m Men, FINAL

The Great Britain Team lodged a protest with the Referee after the 3000m Men, Final, against Kenyan athlete Edwin Cheruiyot SOI (bib number 188) claiming her had obstructed British athlete Mohammed FARAH (bib number 118).

The Referee decided to disqualify Edwin Cheruiyot SOI, who had crossed the finish line in third place.

The results have been amended.

Source: IAAF

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Sunday 11 March, 2012

Time: 17:13

Event: 3000m Men, FINAL

Following the earlier Referee Decision to disqualify Kenyan athlete Edwin Cheruiyot SOI (bib number 188), after the British team had  claimed he had obstructed British athlete Mohammed FARAH (bib number 118), the Kenyan Team lodged an Appeal.

The Jury of Appeal met and reinstated Kenyan athlete Edwin Cheruiyot SOI, who had originally had crossed the finish line in third place.

Kenyan athlete Edwin Cheruiyot SOI was therefore reinstated in third place, and wins the bronze medal.

Source: IAAF

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