NEW DELHI, October 10 – Boaz Lalang capped off a fine year by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Sunday.The 21 year old led Richard Kiplagat and Abraham Kiplagat to a 1-2-3 finish as Kenyans again made light work of the competition at the Jawarhalal Nehru stadium.
“It feels great to win gold and more so to end the season on a high. I want to congratulate my fellow Kenyans because we have done something great tonight. It’s been a long tough season but we hang in there because we wanted to fly the country’s flag high,” said Lalang who clocked 1:46.60.
It was second time in two days that Kenya had swept the podium after the ladies took home all the medals in the 3000 metres steeplechase on Saturday.
“We had a plan to ensure that we took all three medals and the plan went ok that is why we celebrated so hard at the end because we had accomplished our mission, said Lalang.
The US based athlete led from gun to tape; his class putting him above the rest to become the eighth Kenyan victor at the Club Games.
He has had a great year bringing down his personal best to 1:42.95 and winning silver at the World indoor championships.
“To get those three milestones in the same year shows I have made huge strides in my career. To lower my PB to 1:42 and then win gold in India really shows I did my best this year and that I can look forward to 2011,” he said.
“Last year was a bad one for me as I struggled to cope with my training and school at the same time but this year I have changed my studies to part time and the results have been impressive,” added Lalang.
Behind him, Richard Kiplagat finished first to clinch silver, “I am happy to win a medal since it is my first ever medal for Kenya, it will do wonders to my young career.”
For Abraham Kiplagat, the bronze was the cherry on the cake of a successful breakthrough year for the 25 year old. A cousin to Lalang, Abraham only started competing in the distance this year after his was denied a visa to travel to the US and join Lalang.
He set a personal best of 1:43.77 at the Diamond League meet in Monaco before finishing fourth at the national championships in July.
Abraham then finished third in Rieti behind David Rudisha who set a new world best time of 1:41.01.
“I tripped towards the end and that affected my momentum but I am happy with bronze considering I only started running seriously this year. Our plan to win all three medals worked to perfection as we were able to control the entire race.”
Lalang’s win means that Kenya has now won the two lap race a whopping eight times making it the joint most successful track with the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase.