Reebok Boston Indoor Games Saturday

Lagat, Rupp, Dibaba, Pierce among top names in distance events

There is much to excite track & field fans at this year’s Reebok Boston Indoor Games, to be held at 5:00 PM EST Saturday and replayed the following afternoon at 2:00 PM EST on ESPN2. Here are quick previews of the distance events:

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Men’s 5000m: Fresh off his record eighth victory in the Millrose Games Wannamaker Mile, Bernard Lagat will face a deep field in the men’s 5000m. Galen Rupp, who one year ago was tearing up tracks across the country in his final year of college, is on the start list but may be forced to scratch with a cold. A number of strong Kenyan and Ethiopian runners are in the field as well.

Women’s 5000m: This race has been set up as a world-record attempt for Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba. The current record is held by Dibaba’s countrywoman and arch rival, Meseret Defar, at 14:24. Dibaba already holds the outdoor 5000m world record at 14:11.

Men’s mile: New Zealand’s Nick Willis, who won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics but has been injured almost ever since, is healthy again and hopes to make a big splash in his return to international racing. His strongest competition will likely come from U.S. Olympian Leonel Manzano.

Women’s 3000m: This race should present an interesting battle between two runners who led America’s incredible resurgence in women’s middle-distance running last year: 2008 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury and fellow sub-4:00 1500m runner Christin Wurth-Thomas. But don’t be surprised if they are both beaten to the finish line by Tirunesh Dibaba’s younger sister, Genzebe.

Women’s 1000m: Two other members of the resurgence mentioned in the previous paragraph will battle each other in the women’s 1000: Anna Pierce, who as Anna Willard blazed a sub-4:00 1500m last year, and Erin Donohue, who had a breakout year in 2008 and has recently returned to form after a disappointing 2009 campaign.

For more: Reebok Boston Indoor Games Web Site

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