Last updated 9 months ago | By Dennis Okeyo
Qualifying for the 1,500m final was a brutal test of endurance, but Timothy Cheruiyot, the world silver medalist has beaten the heats, semis with ease and he now targets the global title tonight.
Cheruiyot has won 11 out of 12 Diamond League meetings in the last two years and is set to go full throttle from 7.40pm in an attempt bring back the title being held by his training mate Elijah Manangoi who failed defend his title after sustaining an ankle injury.
Cheruiyot, an inspector at the Kenya Prisons Services won the first semi-final in a marginally faster version of 3:36.53 ahead of Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi who timed 3:36.69 ahead of Briton’s Neil Gourley in third place.
Cheruiyot will partner with his compatriot Ronald Kwemoi who adopted a front running style in the semis and was rewarded with second place finish in 3:36.53 in heat two behind European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski (3:36.50) Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen was third 3:36.58 respectively.
Cheruiyot heads the 2019 world list with a 3:28.77 clocking while Kwemoi has run 3:33.99 this season.
“I know the expectation to win gold is quite high, but I’m managing the pressure. So far, I have run according to instruction of my coach Bernard Ouma to enable me reach the finals comfortably. I hope for the best in the final tomorrow (today),” Cheruiyot said yesterday.
American and Olympics champion Matthew Centrowitz will definitely add flair in the final having gone through as one of the two fastest losers after finishing seventh in the second heat alongside Britain’s Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr.
Ingebrigtsen who was involved in controversy during Thursday’s first heat when he appeared to box Ethiopian Teddese Lemi also made the final.
Uganda’s Ronald Musagala who has a PB 3:30.58 failed to make the final.