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Chespol headlines star-studded steeplechase field

Last updated 1 year ago | By Dennis Okeyo

Celliphine Chespol after winning 3,000 metres steeplechase at Prefontaine Classic. [AP]

A clash between world 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech World Junior champion Celliphine Chespol and Olympics silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng will be no doubt be a tight fight tonight as the Diamond league enters the fifth leg in Oslo tonight.

Having destroyed the world record in Monaco last year with 8:44.32 before going on to win the IAAF Diamond League title, Chepkoech’s main challenges will be her fellow countrywomen that include Chespol, Kiyeng, and Norah Jeruto.

Chepkoech finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships, the Bomet-born won the African title last year in Asaba and Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and more recently she finished seventh at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Chespol, a world U20 record of 8:58.78 and went on to win the world U20 title one year later, she holds the third-fastest woman in history for the event,

Jeruto, the 2016 African champion, was runner-up to Chepkoech in last year’s IAAF Diamond League final, while 2012 world U20 champion Daisy Jepkemei set a PB of 9:10.71 last year.

Kiyeng is another force in the lineup, she won 2015 world title in her speciality and followed with Olympic silver in 2016 and world bronze in 2017.

The Kenyan set her lifetime best of 9:00.01 at the 2016 Prefontaine Classic and will be looking forward to a top finish in Oslo and she has previously won the steeplechase event in 2016 and 2018 and she making her third appearance at the meeting.

After clocking 9:04.53, a world-leading time Shanghai last month, Chepkoeh will outbreak the Oslo meeting record of 9:07.14 was set by Milcah Chemos in 2012, it was the fourth-fastest performance in history at that time. It has now slipped outside the top 50 performances of all time, but it looks set for serious revision tonight.

Away from the dominant Kenyans in the field, world champion Emma Coburn of USA will be out to stop Kenya’s continuous domination of the event.

Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai and Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi, who finished second and third to Chespol at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships, add further quality to the line-up.

Elsewhere World champion Dafne Schippers will return to Oslo to compete in the 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo.

Last year the Dutch sprinter defeated Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson on a chilly night in Oslo, clocking 21.93. Schippers went on to retain her European 100m title in Amsterdam and took the 200m silver medal at the Olympic Games.

Schippers has started 2017 in good form, clocking times of 10.95 and 22.29 in her opening 100m and 200m races last month. Her appearance in Oslo this year will coincide with her 25th birthday.

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