Manangoi and Cheruiyot plan fast race in Monaco

By Denis Okeyo: Thursday, July 19th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi and Silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot after qualify for Commonwealth Games.[Dennis Okeyo, Standard media]

The Monaco Diamond League has been a meet of countless fast races, and tomorrow’s meet is set to take the same historic trend as Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi and his training mate Timothy Cheruiyot plot a fast and aggressive 1,500m race.

Despite making a sluggish start this season after losing his elder sister last month thus missing two weeks of crucial training in the process ahead of Monaco event, World and Commonwealth 1500m champion Manangoi is upbeat of posting a new personal best time and defend the title he won last year.

However, it will not be Manangoi against the clock as his friend and training partner at Rongai Athletics Club, Cheruiyot has been in sizzling form this year.

Cheruiyot send an early warning by running under 3:30 as he easily won in 3:29.71 at the Paris Diamond League two weeks ago. He is undefeated this season in the Diamond League series and that means Manangoi has his work cut out.

“It’s unfortunate, I lost some ground when my sister passed on, but I have since worked hard in training, I know I started the DL (Diamond League) season on low, but the one mile victory in Oslo has given me confidence ahead of Monaco,” Manangoi told the Standard Sports.

Manangoi who holds a 3:28.80 best over the distance added: “The mission is to run a fast race, Timo (Cheruiyot) is in good form, I know he will push me to do my new PB on Friday.”

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On his part Cheruiyot, the World and Commonwealth Games 1500m silver medalist said: “My target this season is to run a fast race, I am glad I did under 3:30 in Paris. I believe I can do sub 3:29 in Monaco. A fast time is in my mind.”

Freshly minted IAAF World U-20 1500m champion George Manangoi, Charles Simotwo and 2016 Diamond League trophy winner Ferguson Rotich will also be in the mix alongside Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz of USA and Ingebrigtsen brothers, Filip and Jakob of Norway.

“I am not worried going to Monaco, my main target was a podium finish in Finland this season, I  am glad I achieved that. I’m still learning the ropes going to Monaco to face the big boys,” said the younger Manangoi.

Elsewhere, in form Beatrice Chepkoech is keen to break sub nine minutes in the women’s 3000m steeplechase when she lines up against her compatriots Hyvin Kiyeng and Celliphine Chespol.