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Kenyans to provide fireworks in IAAF Diamond League in Switzerland

ATHLETICS By Robin Toskin and IAAF | August 30th 2018 | 2 min read
Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri competes in the final of the women's 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP

World champion in 1,500m Timothy Cheruiyot and compatriot Elijah Manangoi are set for a grand showdown, in Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland tonight over the distance in the first of this season’s IAAF Diamond League finals.

On show at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich leg will be 16 disciplines with winners of the other 16 to be settled in Brussels, Belgium, tomorrow.

In action also is Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, who is bidding to defend his Iaaf Diamond League title, but must contend with Morocco’s world silver medallist Soufiane El Bakkali.

World 5000m champion and Iaaf Diamond League title holder champion Hellen Obiri headlines the a clash stacked with talent including Ethiopia’s 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, European record holder and champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands. The mouthwatering showdown will include 11 Olympic champions, 12 world champions and 11 European champions.

Manangoi and Cheruiyot, who have dominated the 1,500m this season will be watching over their shoulders to see if Norway’s 17-year-old wonderboy Jakob Ingebrigtsen has come of age.

Cheruiyot has had a fine season around the European cities topping in Paris and Monaco last month and now heads to Zurich with a season best of 3:28.41.

Manangoi with 3:29.64 also recorded in Monaco when he finished behind Cheruiyot remains a formidable opponent on track.

Their coach Bernard Ouma, who is in Zurich said the lads looked sharp in yesterday’s morning light training.

“They are ready for battle and we hope all conditions will be favourable,” Ouma said.

The Kenyans will be looking to kill off the challenge of Ingebrigtsen, winner of European titles over 1500 and 5000m.

The youngster, who holds a personal best of 3:31.18, will have some moral support in the form of his elder brother Filip Ingebrigtsen, whose European 1500m title he took this month.

Elsewhere in men’s long jump world and defending champion Luvo Manyonga of South Africa will come face to face with the startling new talent of 20-year-old Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba, who almost leapt out of the pit at the Stockholm Diamond League in recording 8.83m.

His jump which would have been the fifth farthest legal mark recorded but for a following wind of 2.1 metres per second, just 0.1 over the limit.

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