Kenyan Bernard Lagat, the World and Olympic 1500m medallist and the second fastest runner of all-time at the distance has announced he has become a citizen of the United States of America.
“I thought long and hard before changing my nationality but, at the age of 30, I have to look to my future, after my running career has come to an end,” said Bernard Lagat from his home in Tucson, Arizona.
“I have lived in the United States since 1996, I graduated from Washington State University and the United States has been my permanent home for almost a decade, and it is where I envisage living in the years to come."
“I hope to continue running at the very highest level until at least the 2008 Olympics. In the short term, I realise that changing my nationality makes me ineligible to compete at the 2005 World Championships but I look forward to trying to run as fast as possible in other meetings this summer, with the aim of inspiring and uplifting Kenyan and American athletics fans alike."
“The decision to change my nationality was not one I took lightly as I am very proud of my Kenyan heritage.