2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Kiprop a threat to bid at star-studded 103rd Millrose Games
NEW YORK: Bernard Lagat will be gunning for his eighth Wanamaker Mile – and a record held by Irish indoor great Eamonn Coghlan – at the 103rd Millrose Games indoor athletics meeting today.
Lagat won his seventh Millrose mile last year, matching the feat of Coghlan – whose indoor prowess earned him the nickname ‘Chairman of the Boards’.
Lagat’s challengers will include Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion.
Lagat holds the third-fastest indoor mile mark in history of 3:49.89, and he holds the mile record at the Millrose Games of 3:52.87, set in 2005.
Kiprop, who was confirmed as the 2008 Olympic 1,500m gold medallist after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his Beijing title for doping, will have his work cut out taking on Lagat on the tight track at Madison Square Garden. Ethiopia’s world championships silver medallist Deresse Mekonnen had been expected to run, but was unable to secure a visa in time.
Eleven Olympic medallists and 16 outdoor world championships medallists are entered in the meeting, the first stop on USA Track and Field’s Visa Championship Series and the first IAAF Indoor Permit meeting of the year.
Two-time Olympic 200m gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica will be seeking her first Millrose 60m title since 2006 – her last appearance at Madison Square Garden.
The field also includes 2008 Olympic finalists Muna Lee and Marshevet (Hooker) Myers, defending Millrose champion Bianca Knight and reigning US Indoor champion and 2006 world indoor gold medallist Lisa Barber.
Tim Mack, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist headlines the men’s pole vault field, which also includes France’s Renaud Lavillenie, the world championships bronze medallist.
American record holder and 2008 Olympic and world indoor silver medallist Jenn (Stuczynski) Suhr headlines a women’s pole vault field that also includes outdoor world championships silver medallist Chelsea Johnson.
Defending champion Terrence Trammell leads a men’s 60m hurdles field that also includes decathlete Trey Hardee and Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados.
Two-time defending Millrose champion Priscilla Lopes-Schliep heads the women’s 60m hurdles, with fellow Canadian Perdita Felicien likely her toughest rival. — AFP