Beijing Bound! Lopez Lomong Earns Olympic Bid
July 6, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. - Air Force volunteer cross country coach Lopez Lomong secured his spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team this evening (July 6) following a third-place finish in the 1500-meter run at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Clocking a time of 3:41.00, Lomong successfully punched his ticket to the upcoming summer games in Beijing.
Competing at the historic Hayward Field, Lomong was one of the top-three finishers in the 1500-meter run. Lomong, who earned the Olympic standard earlier this qualifying period, will represent the United States in that event with Bernard Lagat and Leonel Manzano.
Lagat, the American record holder in the 1500-meter event, won the 12-runner race with a time of 3:40.37. Manzano placed second with a time of 3:40.90 - just 0.10 ahead of Lomong's third-place time. Williams Leer finished fourth (3:41.54), while Alan Webb placed fifth (3:41.62).
"(Tonight) I was just thinking about securing a spot," Lomong said after the race. "I have gone through a lot of racing and I think that is going to benefit me in the long run. I could not do this without the crowd. They are so lovely and really support you. I am glad that we came out here and gave the people the show they deserve."
The 2008 Olympic Games begin on Aug. 8, with the Opening Ceremonies. The 1500-meter race officially gets underway on Aug. 15 with the first round of competition.