Kenyans set to light up Monaco meet

By Dennis Okeyo: Thursday, July 11th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Prison's Timothy Cheruiyot in 1500 metres men finalist during the Athletics Kenya National Trials Championship at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday, June 23, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

After emerging top at the Prefontaine Classic and running a world lead time in last week Timothy Cheruiyot set to return into action with the hope of continuing with his tight grip on 1500m event at the ninth stop of Monaco Diamond League tomorrow.

Monaco is famous for the fastest 1500m time in the world in six of the last seven years, Cheruiyot, world 1500m silver medalist is expected to post another leading time in a non-diamond league event as he takes on his challengers that include 18-year-old Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who clocked the second-fastest time in the world this year flowing his second-placed finish in Lausanne.

In the absence of the World Champion Elijah Manangoi, his younger brother and world under-18, and 1500m champion George Manangoi will field the void as he seeks in to improve his 3:34.00, personal best. Charles Simotwo, a regular in the Diamond League series will also be seeking for his first win of the season.

Men’s 3000m steeplechase is widely considered a Kenyan event, but since Olympics and world Champion Conseslus Kipruto sustained an injury at the beginning of the season, the Kenyans seems to struggle in the event, they have dominated for years. 

Going to Monaco, hopes of victory lies on the shoulder of World under-20 silver medalist Leonard Bett, Nicholas Bett, Benjamin Birgen and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Abraham Kibiwott.

Kenyans will lineup against last year’s winner, Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco who set his current PB of 7.58.15. This year, El Bakkali goes back on the track and will confront the World Leader, Getnet Wale of Ethiopia, who ran 8:06.01 this season in Rabat last month.

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American-based Michael Saruni, 2016 Diamond league trophy winner Ferguson Rotich who finished at the last week meeting in Lausanne and Jonathan Kitilit will take on World Champion and French record holder, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse,  European Champion Adam Kszczot of Poland and Botswana’s Nijel Amos who improved the meeting record last year with a time of 1:42.14. 

After chalking two victories in Rabat and Lausanne, fast-rising Nelly Jepkosgei heads to Monaco with the hope of topping the women’s 800m, a non-Diamond league meet.

Jepkosgei who boost of 4:00.99 PB will lineup against Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, Habitam Alem of Ethiopia and Britain’s Linsey Sharp among others.

Elsewhere, in the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics, world indoor long jump champion Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba explains how he is working on every aspect of his performance in a bid to break the world record and put on a great show for fans of the sport.

“The world record is a very difficult mark to break but it's not impossible,” says the Cuban, who last year sailed out to a marginally wind-assisted 8.83m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm. “I see a big future for me”

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