The 2008 Olympic 800m champion Pamela Jelimo and World 1,500m silver medallist Silas Kiplagat hope to put behind their London Olympic disappointment with a comeback at Lausanne’s Diamond League on Thursday.
The women’s two-lap race promises an explosive rematch. Jelimo will come face to face with Russian Mariya Savinova, who dethroned her off the Olympic title in London. Savinova, who posted world season’s lead with her victory in London of one minute 56.19 seconds leads a strong Russian charge that has London Olympic bronze medallist Yekaterina Poistogova and Yelena Kofanova.
Jelimo, who finished fourth at the Olympics, is placed second in the Diamond League standings with six points after her victory in Doha before finishing second Roma in May. She goes into the race with the second fastest time this year.
She triumphed at IAAF Heusden Zolder in Germany in 1:56.76 on July 7 after posting 1:56.94 in Doha in May, her second major race after making a comeback from injury with victory at the World Indoor Championships in Turkey in March.
Mutai to lead charge
Kiplagat, the 2010 Commonwealth champion and who also won in Doha, faces tough challenge from 2011 Diamond League winner, Nixon Chepseba, 2010 World Junior Cross and World Junior 1,500m champion Caleb Mwangangi and Gedion Gathimba.
Kenyans should also dominate the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, with series leader Paul Kipsiele Koech and London Olympics bronze medallist Abel Mutai leading the assault.
It will be interesting to see how the new World Junior gold and silver medallists Conseslus Kipruto and Gilbert Kiplangat will handle the field.
Koech, who failed to make Team Kenya for London, has three of the five fastest times this season.