After a successful outing in Doha, Qatar in the first meeting of the Diamond League series, Kenyan athletes will be eyeing glory in the second leg in Shanghai, China, this weekend.
Fireworks is expected in men’s 800 metres when double Olympics champion David Rudisha, 2014 World Junior champion Alfred Kipketer, 2014 gold medalist in World Relays Ferguson Cheruiyot, World Under-20 champion Kipyegon Bett and 2013 African Youth champion Robert Biwott battle it out.
Rudisha, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County is also the world record holder in 800m after clocking 1:40.91 at the 2012 Olympics Games in London. Olympics 1,500m women’s champion Faith Chepng’etich is expected to dominate her speciality after Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba opting to run 3,000m in Doha.
VIOLA LAGAT TO COMPETE
Chepng’etich will team up with US-based Viola Lagat against Ethiopians Dawit Seyaum and Sado Besu who finished eighth and ninth respectively in 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
In Rio, Chepng’etich surprised all by outpacing Dibaba and American Jennifer Simpson. Lagat was also in Rio but did not get to the finals and she will be using the race as a build-up for the IAAF World Championships in August.
In women’s 5,000m race, London Marathon’s lone pacemaker, Caroline Chepkoech, will lead compatriots Stacy Ndiwa, Olympics silver medalist Hellen Obiri and Margaret Chelimo.
“I will be looking forward to a good race this season, this being my first track race. I don’t want to speculate anything now but I will do my best,” Chepkoech, who trains in Iten, said on Wednesday.
After winning the KDF championships, Obiri took her flight for Shanghai where she will be seeking to improve her personal best of 14:25.78.
“My training went on well and I’m looking forward to a good run and improve my personal best though I know there is stiff competition from the Ethiopians,” said Obiri, who has been training in Ngong.
Nicholas Bett will represent Kenya in men’s in the 400m hurdles as he seeks to better his performance this season.
The women’s 3,000m steeplechase race has attracted World champion Hyvine Kiyeng, Norah Jeruto, Roseline Chepngetich and Celliphine Chepsol.
The athletes should expect a stiff competition from the Olympics champion Ruth Chebet who was outpaced in the last few metres during the Doha race last weekend.