World of Sport

Top athlete sets record time despite schoolboy blunder

World of Sport

Athlete Lopez Lomong is one of America's best hopes for a long-distance running medal at London 2012 - but he proved he still has a lot to learn with a novice blunder at a recent race that had the crowd, and his fellow competitors, wondering what was going on.

The 27-year-old athlete - who was the US Olympic team's flag bearer at the 2008 Beijing Games - was running a 5,000m race at the Payton Cardinal Invitational in Stanford at the weekend.

All was going well for the Sudan-born athlete as he began his penultimate lap, moving into a comfortable lead with 800m to go.

Then something odd happened. Lomong started sprinting as hard as he could, pulling out a lead that got bigger, and bigger, and bigger... until it suddenly became clear that he'd miscounted and thought he was actually on his last lap.

He crossed the line and threw his hands up in the air, pulling up to enjoy his moment of victory - only to realise his blunder as onlookers yelled frantically at him to keep going.

The penny dropped, and a clearly-shattered Lomong got going again - and despite having drained himself with his premature sprint, he somehow managed to carry on around the track and to the line to win the race.

What's more, his tactical blunder actually seemed to help him: he ended up clocking 13 minutes 11.63 seconds, which is the fastest time in the world this year!

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