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Olympian Bernard Lagat

Updated on August 17, 2014

Bernard Lagat

Bernard Lagat's road to the USA is an interesting one. Lagat a middle and long distance runner, born in Kenya, who now represents the United States. In July, 2008, Lagat won the US Olympic Trials in the 1500m and 5000m, making the Olympic team in both events. Lagat's 2008 Olympic experience, however, turned out to be a major disappointment to him.

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Lagat, now a Kenyan American, was born in Kaptel village, near Kapsabet town in Nandi District. His date of birth coincides with Jamhuri Day, the independence day of Kenya. He is a Nandi, sub-tribe of the Kalenjin people. He graduated from the Kaptel High School in 1994, where he had started his athletics career.

He joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi 1996. Later in the same year he moved to Washington State University. In 2000, Lagat graduated from Washington State University --as athletic greats Henry Rono and Michael Kosgei from Kenya had done before him-- with a degree in management information systems.

Lagat's older sister Mary Chepkemboi is also a runner and African Champion from 1994....(read more)

Lagat Misses Final Cut In 1500

Bernard Lagat became the latest casualty when he failed to qualify for the final in the 1500-meter at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Lagat, running in the second semifinal of the event, needed to finish in the top five of his heat to automatically qualify but instead finished sixth and eventually missed the cut for the final as the top five from each heat plus the next two fastest times advanced. Lagat missed out on the last spot in the final by .02 seconds.

Lagat finishes a Disappointing 9th in the 5000 meter finals

A sore left Achilles' tendon has been hurting Lagat since the U.S. Olympic trials, he said after Saturday's race. He missed three weeks of training before the Olympics, feeling like his Achilles was going to blow out during every stride.

A less than 100% Lagat proved no match for Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, who dominated the 5,000 field by finishing in 12 minutes, 57.82 seconds, adding gold to the 10,000 title he won earlier in the games.

Track & Field - Men's 5000 Final

Sat Aug 23 8:10am EDT

Gold: ETH Kenenisa Bekele


Silver: KEN Eliud Kipchoge


Bronze: KEN Edwin Cheruiyot Soi


4th UGA Moses Ndiema Kipsiro


5th Abreham Cherkos Feleke


6th ETH Tariku Bekele


7th MEX Juan Luis Barrios


8th QAT James Kwalia C'Kurui


9th USA Bernard Lagat


10th ERI Kidane Tadesse Habtesilase


11th ESP Aelemayehu Bezabeh


12th KEN Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa


13th USA Matthew Tegenkamp


14th ESP Jesus Espana


IRL Alistair Cragg


Bernard Lagat Quote

"When the American national anthem is played, I feel enormous pride, I'm trying to give back what America has given me,"-Bernard Lagat.

Photos courtesy Creative Commons.

Thoughts on Bernard Lagat? - Feel free to comment here.

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      MrMarmalade 9 years ago

      His quote is great. if only more people would do the same for everyone all over the world

    • Kanga LM profile image

      Kanga LM 9 years ago

      What an athlete! Welcome to the Beijing Olympics 2008 Group! :-)