Olympic chiefs will today name the final athletics team to represent Kenya at the London Olympic Games next month.
The programme will start at 9.30am and will be through by 1.30pm. Kenya’s world class athletes are in town to battle it out for the much sought-after Olympic slots. Olympic champions Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), Brimin Kipruto (3,000m SC), Pamela Jelimo (800m) and Jebet Lagat (1,500m) are fighting for selection.
It is a battle already touted as equal to Olympic finals, but which may disappoint many favourites, as the Kenyan trials are notorious for.
Kiprop, also the world champion, says his long-standing rivalry with World silver medalist Silas Kiplagat is positive for the sport and has helped raise standards in the four-lap race.
The two will come face to face for the second time this year during the final of the 1,500m Olympic trials at Nyayo National Stadium in a race that should provide the highlight of the two-day event.
Kiplagat beat Kiprop during the Doha Diamond League held early this year in a world leading time of 3:29.6. Kiprop’s time of 3:29.8 remains the second fastest time this year setting the stage for a bruising battle in today’s final.
The world silver medalist showed serious intention to do well today after registering 3:44.3 during Thursday’s semi-final when he finished second behind Nixon Chepseba (3:44.1) with Kiprop winning his heat in a much slower time of 3:49.1.
“The competition between me and Kiplagat is healthy for the sport because it helps raise the competitiveness and all of us always have to give their best and today will be no different,” said Kiprop.
He also expects a faster race because there will no rabbit and everybody will be chasing the elusive Olympic ticket.
“I am foreseeing the last lap being run in 50 to 51 seconds as we fight it out for the Olympic Games,” he said.
While Kiprop declined to be drawn into his expectation for the Olympic games, he nonetheless revealed that he would want to win the medal on the track this time around.
He is also the current Olympic champion despite having finished second in Beijing four years ago after the eventual winner Bahrainian Rashid Ramzi was stripped of the gold medal when he tested positive for a banned substance.