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Galaxy of stars in final AK meet

Wednesday May 20 2015

A combination of Kenyan athletics stars. A galaxy of stars converge on the new-look Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret this Friday for the final Athletics Kenya Track and Field weekend meeting.  PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A combination of Kenyan athletics stars. A galaxy of stars converge on the new-look Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret this Friday for the final Athletics Kenya Track and Field weekend meeting. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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A galaxy of stars converge on the new-look Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret this Friday for the final Athletics Kenya Track and Field weekend meeting.

It will be a fantastic way to end the AK series as Kenya’s finest athletes test the tartan track, which cost the taxpayer a cool Sh100 million.

Olympic champion and world 800m record holder David Rudisha will have nothing to complain about after he withdrew from the previous AK Track and Field Meeting in Kisii due to a poor track.

Rudisha - who holds the world record of 1:40.91 from his 2012 London Olympics gold medal exploits - will be joined by World 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

And that’s not all. There will be 2014 Diamond League Series winner Silas Kiplagat, who is fresh from winning in Shanghai, Commonwealth Games champion James Magut and Nixon Chepseba.

World, Africa and Commonwealth games 800m gold medallist Eunice Sum will lead a star-studded women’s field that has 2007 world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, Selah Jepleting, Agatha Jeruto, Slyvia Chesebe and the new 3,000m steeplechase sensation Virginia Nyambura.

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Rudisha, who is preparing for Birmingham and New York legs of the Diamond League on June 7 and June 13 respectively, will compete in the men’s 400m.

It will be Rudisha’s first race since winning at the Sydney Track Classic in 1:45.01 on March 14and Melbourne Classic in 1:44.94 on March 21 in Australia. Kemboi will field in his specialty, which will be his first event of the season, having competed last for Kenya at the 2014 Commonwealth Games on August 1, winning bronze medal.

It’s left to be known whether Jairus Birech, who claimed silver at Commonwealth Games and is fresh from winning in Shanghai on Saturday, will compete.  Birech, the 2014 Diamond League Series winner started his season in style, winning in Shanghai in a world leading time of 8:05.36.

After finishing sixth in 800m in Doha, the opening leg of the Diamond League on Friday, Kiprop, will field in 800m while Kiplagat, who won the 1,500m race in Shanghai with a world leading time of 3:35.29, will compete in the metric mile race alongside Magut and Chepseba.

Sum seem to have not lost her last year sparkle. The powerful Sum stormed to her first win this season in 2:00.28 in Shanghai. Jepkosgei held on for third, clocking 2:01.14.

Jepkosgei and Sum, who won in Doha, Rome, Oslo and Lausanne to count for the Series victory, lost only three of 17 races over 800m last year, will compete in 1,500m.

Jeruto will field in 800m alongside Jeplating, who was in the medley team that won silver at the World Relays.

Nyambura, who anchored the medley team for silver in Bahamas will be in Eldoret but it’s not know whether she will go for steeplechase or a flat race. She ran the 1,600m bit at World Relays.

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