Double delight for world champion Lagat

OSAKA - Bernard Lagat made history yesterday by becoming the first man to win both the 5000m and 1500m world titles, as Jeremy Wariner and Allyson Felix added more gold to their bulging collections.

OSAKA - Bernard Lagat made history yesterday by becoming the first man to win both the 5000m and 1500m world titles, as Jeremy Wariner and Allyson Felix added more gold to their bulging collections.

Kenyan-born Lagat, who gained US citizenship two years ago but only recently became eligible to compete for them after a mandatory wait under international rules, muscled his way past Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge to win on the line.

The 32-year-old, who won the Olympic bronze in 2000 and the silver in 2004 for Kenya, charged at the bell to clock a time of 13min:45,87sec.

Uganda's Moses Ndiema Kipsiro placed third.

While no one has achieved the rare 5000-1500m feat at the worlds before, two men have done so at the Olympics - Paavo Nurmi in 1924 and Moroccan great Hicham El Guerrouj in 2004.

"The double means a lot to me," said Lagat, and credited El Guerrouj for inspiration.

"The story I was following was the one by Hicham El Guerrouji in Athens. I wanted to do the same because he inspired me. He is a wonderful man and friend."

The championships ended with the United States topping the medal table with 14 gold, ahead of Kenya on five and Russia on four, but the final day was marred by an "abnormal" doping test.

World athletics chief Lamine Diack would not reveal the name, nationality or the discipline of the athlete involved while the testing procedure is still ongoing.

Kenyan Alfred Yego claimed his country's first 800m title since 1993 when he stormed to the finish in 1:47,09 s ahead of Canada's Gary Reed and Russia's Yuriy Borzakovskiy.

"I can't believe I'm the one who won it," said 20-year-old Yego.

"At 600m, I felt so relaxed that I felt I could win. So I unleashed my last kick with 100m to go, but I was not sure I actually won the gold by the time I crossed the line."

Ethiopian-born Maryam Yusuf Jamal, now running for Bahrain, clinched the women's 1500m world title in a time of 3:58,75 ahead of Russia's Yelena Soboleva and Ukraine's Iryna Lishchynska.

Jamal was literally bundled out of a medal at the last world championships when a nudge sent her reeling with 250m to go, and she was ecstatic at making up for that disappointment.

"This makes up for Helsinki, where I was in good shape but I was pushed," she said. "I'm certain that if that hadn't happened, even if I didn't win, I would have medalled then."

Wariner capped his championships with a second gold by anchoring the American 4x400m relay team, which also boasted 400m silver medallist LaShawn Merritt and bronze winner Angelo Taylor, to victory in 2min:55,56sec.

"The others guys put it right before me and I just got it home strong," said the modest 23-year-old.

America's women, with 200m champion Felix running the second leg, matched the exploits of the men, lifting the title in 3:18,55. - Sapa-AFP

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