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World champion Lagat, Lomong, Manzano out of 1,500 final

BEIJING -- World champion Bernard Lagat of
the U.S. failed to qualify for the Olympic 1,500-meter final
on Sunday and American hopes of their first title in the event
for 100 years are over.

Lagat, who has won silver and bronze for Kenya in the
Olympic 1,500 meters, finished sixth in his semifinal and missed
the last qualifying spot for Tuesday's final by two hundredths
of a second.

"It was so close, for sure, I wanted to go in again feeling
good, I had my strategies but at some point, suddenly, I didn't
follow it," Lagat said.

Lopez Lomong, who escaped civil war in Sudan as a boy
before spending 10 years in a refugee camp and carried the U.S.
flag in the Games Opening Ceremony, also failed to advance
along with Leonel Manzano.

Favorites Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, Kenya's Asbel Kipruto
Kiprop and France's Mehdi Baala all sailed smoothly through to
the final.