Diamond League: Mouth-watering clashes await at historic Olympic Stadium tomorrow

Ezekiel Kemboi (left) and Conseslus Kiproto competes in 3000m steeplechase semi-finals during the National Olympics Trials on June 30,2016 at kipchoge Stadium, Eldoret.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Kemboi to do battle in Rome: Steeplechase great Kemboi returns to test might of Kipruto, Birech with eye on Mekhissi-Benabbad

Steeplechase great Kemboi returns to test might of Kipruto and Birech with eye on Mekhissi-Benabbad.

Jonathan Komen in Rome, Italy

[email protected]

Steeplechase great Ezekiel Kemboi returns to the track tomorrow in Rome, Italy, in his stated quest to continue racing until he evens things out with Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, who denied him an Olympic bronze in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Kemboi, 35, announced he was retiring after he missed out on the bronze when he was adjudged to have stepped out of the track as they dashed for the finish line with Mekhissi-Benabbad.

The Frenchman was awarded the bronze, prompting the never-say-die Kemboi to shelve retirement plans.

On Thursday, on the hallowed track of Rome Olympic Stadium where Moses Kiptanui’s blew away a strong 5,000m field on June 8, 1995 to set the world record at 12:55.30, Kemboi will line up against his already enthroned successor, 2016 Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto.

Kemboi, a four-time world 3,000m steeplechase champion will also contend with yet another protagonist, the 2016 IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner Jairus Kipchoge Birech. Clement Kemboi, Amos Kirui and America’s Hillary Bor will spice up the line-up.

Although the prize will not be a thoroughbred horse like Kiptauni carted away in 1995, tomorrow night’s battle in IAAF Diamond League, the battle will be gauge for the upcoming World Championships in London this August.

The Rome contest will also serve as a major test for world javelin champion Julius Yego, who will once again take on Olympic champions Keshorn Walcott (London 2012) and Thomas Rohler (2016 Rio Olympics), former world champion Vitezslav Vesely and bronze medallist Tero Pitkamaki in the IAAF track and field meet.

Yego, an alumnus of Kapsabet Boys High School, seem to follow in the counsel of American author Les Brown: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will still land among the stars.”

“I am picking on slowly. But I hope to have reached my top form by next month so that I strive to defend my title in London,” said Yego.

Three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop will not compete as he will line up in Oslo next week on Thursday, where he will gun for his sixth win at the meet.

Fireworks are expected in men’s 3,000m steeplechase and women’s 5,000m battle, where Ethiopia’s track assassin Genzebe Dibaba targets to attack the world 5,000m record of 14:11.15 held by her elder sister Tirunesh Dibaba.

Genzebe, who trains under Dutch manager Jos Hermens of Global Sports Communications, has 14:15.14 best mark and will be up against Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri (14:22.47) and world cross country champions Irene Chebet Cheptai (2017 in Kampala) and Agnes Tirop (2015, Guiyang in China).

New entrant Sheila Chelang’at (15:46.0), Margaret Jelimo (15:07.56) as well as Ethiopia’s Gidey Letesenbet (14:36.84) and Tesfaye Haftamnesh (15:10.85) are also in the mix.

But the clash between world junior 800m champion Kipyegon Bett, Ferguson Rotich and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos in the two-lap race remains the show-stopper.

It’s a defining moment as Kipyegon, Rotich, Amos and Alfred Kipketer have all managed to beat world 800m record holder David Rudisha.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, Job Kinyor and Adam Kszczot of Poland are also in contention.

Former world junior 800m silver medallist Winny Chebet and Nelly Jepkosgei will lead the 1,500m line up against Dutch’s Sifan Hassan.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Nock politics: Deputy president Ochieng now quits embattled Nock

National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) Second Vice President Pius Ochieng’ has resigned from the federation.

Tirop books London ticket: National trials Former World Cross champ beats Cheptai and Aprot

21-year-old says her journey for glory in London started at the trials yesterday.

New faces shine in 5,000m: National Trials Usual suspects missing as youngsters shine

No problems for Ferguson, Bett and Kipruto in 800m and 3000m semis.

FC Barcelona star Neymar reveals he’s single once again after splitting from his actress girlfriend

After dating for many years, Barcelona striker Neymar and partner Bruna Marquezine have gone their separate ways.

Manchester United close in on Monaco star Fabinho

Manchester United have moved a step closer to securing the signing of Monaco star Fabinho after reports in Italy claim a fee has been agreed between the two clubs.

Pellegrino takes over as Southampton manager

Argentine Mauricio Pellegrino was named as manager of Premier League Southampton on Friday, the week after the club sacked Claude Puel.

More Stories
Nock politics: Deputy president Ochieng now quits embattled Nock

National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) Second Vice President Pius Ochieng’ has resigned from the federation.

Tirop books London ticket: National trials Former World Cross champ beats Cheptai and Aprot

21-year-old says her journey for glory in London started at the trials yesterday.

New faces shine in 5,000m: National Trials Usual suspects missing as youngsters shine

No problems for Ferguson, Bett and Kipruto in 800m and 3000m semis.

Kasait and Kiyeng set to give stiff competition to national record holder

In the absence of world and Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot, Kenya’s hopes in the long distance races rests with Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri.

Chase for world tickets starts

It will be battle royale at Nyayo Stadium as Kenya’s top track and field stars seek tickets to fly the country’s flag at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

IOC weighs more action on Kenya

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) could face further sanctions from the international body following a delay in holding elections.

Rudisha withdraws from trials

World 800m record holder David Rudisha has withdrawn from the national trials as Athletics Kenya (AK) released a star-studded start list for the two-day meeting scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday at Nyayo Stadium.

Athletics: Champions Saina, Mucheru big doubts for London global championships

Racing against time for Worlds: Hurdler Mucheru and 10,000 runner Saina battling for fitness hoping for wild cards

Athletics: Preparations advance ahead of trials

Plans for the IAAF London World Championships national trials have hit top gear with the arrival of the foreign legion ahead of the two-day event that starts at Nyayo Stadium on Friday.

Athletics: Kenya Tourism Board injects Sh20m to U-18 games

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has partnered with the IAAF World U18 Championships Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in support of the championships slated for Kasarani Stadium from July 12-16.