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World Champion Bernard Lagat confirmed for Boston Indoor Games

American Bernard Lagat winning the men's race at Pre Classic

Bernard Lagat, one of the most decorated track and field athletes of all-time, has confirmed his participation in the 5000m at the 2010 Reebok Boston Indoor Games on Feb. 6, organizers announced today.   Also announced today were the boys and girls elite, junior mile fields.

Lagat, the 2007 World Champion in both the 1500m and 5000m, won the bronze medal in the 1500m and the silver in the 5000m at this past summer’s World Championships.  In total, Lagat has amassed a total of seven world championship medals (three gold, three silver and one bronze) in the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m, two Olympic medals (one silver, one bronze) and, since becoming an American citizen, five US titles.

Known as Kip to his friends and family, Lagat is one of the most versatile middle distance runners in history; he is the second fastest 1500m runner of all-time with a personal best of 3:26.34 and is the only man to win both the 1500m and 5000m at the World Championships.    Lagat, a naturalized American citizen, attended Washington State University where he was a 4-time NCAA Champion.

Lagat will compete against previously announced, Galen Rupp, as well as Bekana Daba and Ali Abdosh, two sub-13:00 5000m runners from Ethiopia.  While Lagat holds the US indoor records at 1500m, the mile and 3000m, Rupp is US indoor record holder at 5000m, having set the current record of 13:18.12 last February.

The junior mile races have in recent years attracted top talent from the US and around the world.  2010 looks to continue that tradition with 10 standout boys confirmed, including the nation’s leading miler so far this season, Patrick Schellberg (Morristown, NJ); New York’s 2009 State Champion at 1600m, Alex Hatz (Manlius, NY); Craig Lutz (Highland Village, TX), the 2009 Nike Cross Country National Champion; and Billy Ledder (Falls Church, VA) the Virginian prep who won the 800 meters at the 2009 Nike Indoor National Championships.

The girls junior mile will include Joanna and Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg, VA), Virginia State 1600m Champion and Runner-up, respectively in 2009; Emily Lipari (Greenvale, NY), the nation’s leading miler in 2010; the nation’s top returning 800m runner Claudia Francis (Laurelton, NY) who won the Nike Outdoor Nationals in 2009 in a time of 2:05.47; Cory Ann McGee (Pass Christian, MS), 2009 Mississippi State Champion; and 2009 New England Champion Katrina Coogan (Exeter, NH).

Since the Reebok Boston Indoor Games began in 1996, more than 100 Olympic and World Championship medalists have competed in the event, which has also played host to six World Records and nine American Records. Sponsored by Reebok International Ltd., with its world headquarters in Canton, Mass., the event is owned and produced by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., an athlete-representation and events firm based in Boston.

The 15th-annual Reebok Boston Indoor Games, the second stop in USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series, begins at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College.  Information is now available on-line at www.BostonIndoorGames.com.  Follow us on Twitter at @BostonIndoor and become a fan on Facebook at www.bostonindoorgames.com/facebook. Tickets are available on-line or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC.

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