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Paul Chelimo Paul Chelimo loses, regains rare U.S. silver in 5,000

Disqualifications to Chelimo and another runner had bumped American Bernard Lagat up to bronze, but he was happy to give it back.

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Ecstasy turned to heartbreak and finally relief for Paul Chelimo on Saturday, as the American earned, lost and regained a hard-won silver medal in the men's 5,000 metres.

The 25-year-old finished second as Briton Mo Farah claimed his second consecutive Olympic gold in the event, and had already taken his lap of honor when he was informed by an NBC television reporter that he had been disqualified.

Chelimo appeared stunned and, after watching a video replay of him jostling another runner, was adamant that no violation had occurred.

He vowed to appeal the ruling, and won out in a rare reversal by the IAAF, track and field's international governing body.

Chelimo was one of three runners initially disqualified, joining Canada's Mohammed Ahmed - who finished fourth - and Ethiopia's Muktar Edris. Those decisions moved 41-year-old American Bernard Lagat up to bronze, but he took no joy in it.

"If you finished fourth and somebody stepped on the line once and got no advantage and you finish fourth, do you really want to say, 'Gosh, I won the bronze medal because a guy cheated?'" Lagat said before the decision was reversed.

"To me, I feel like 'Yes, things happen.' I guess if the rules are like that, whatever decision they want to make tonight I'm going to accept it. Then again if they tell me they gave it me by accident and take it back, no problem."

Once everything finally got sorted out, the medal officially became the United States' first in the event since Bob Schul won gold and Bill Dellinger bronze at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

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