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Kenyan Middle Distance Runner Becomes US Citizen

Kenyan middle distance runner Bernard Lagat has become a citizen of the United States.

Lagat was the 1,500 meters silver medalist at last year's Athens Olympics and the bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He also has run the second fastest time in history in the 1,500 meters of 3:26.34.

Lagat said he thought long and hard before changing his nationality, but he said that at the age of 30 he had to look to his future after his running career comes to an end. He went to college at Washington State University and has been living in the United States since 1996. He currently lives in the western city of Tucson, Arizona.

Unless the Kenyan athletics federation agrees to his transfer within a 12-month period, Lagat would have to serve a three-year transition period before being eligible to run for the United States.