Aug. 30, 2004
Bruin alumnus Meb Keflezighi on Sunday became the first American man since 1976 to win an Olympic medal in the men's marathon, taking the silver at Panathenaiko Stadium in a time of 2:11.29.
Like Deena Kastor (the women's bronze medal winner in the marathon) Keflezighi ran a careful, patient race when the gun went off in Marathon. He was 11th or 12th through much of the competition, coming through the halfway in 1:07:40. Had he kept that pace, he would have run 2:15:20. But like Kastor, he ran the second half much faster - 3:49 faster. By 30 km he was in 5th, and at 35 km he was fourth, having covered those 5,000m in 14:48. His final, full 5km split was his fastest, at 14:21.
The Olympic silver medal will add to Keflezighi's already robust resume, which includes three national 10,000m track titles, the American record at 10 km, two U.S. cross country titles, and numerous national road racing crowns, including four at 15 km.
"Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful," said Keflezighi. "Going in I wasn't a favorite, but that's why we run the race. I'm happy to win the silver medal. USA distance running - there should be no more question about that."
"It was hot and humid out there. I was prepared for the worst. I tried to do with Deena [Kastor, women's marathon bronze medalist] did - stay relaxed and keep working on it." Malachi Davis ran the third leg of Great Britain's 4x400m relay in a time of 45.14. The Great Britain team finished fifth in a time of 3:01.07.
Keflezighi was the sole medal winner for current and former UCLA track athletes.
For complete results go to www.olympics.com