Last updated 1 month ago | By Agencies
Kenya’s global champions led by Timothy Cheruiyot, Hellen Obiri, Faith Kipyegon, Beatrice Chepkoech and Ferguson Rotich, will headline the Monaco Diamond League meeting set for tomorrow.
The Kenyan runners will join other global stars as the first post-lockdown international track and field event takes place at a newly-laid track at the Stade Louis II, after COVID-19 decimated 2020 global sporting calendar.
World 1,500m champion Cheruiyot, who boasts a time of 3:28.41 over the distance, will be up against a familiar lineup that includes Jakob Ingebrightsen, who won a promotional virtual race dubbed the ‘Impossible Games’ in June.
Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha will also be in the mix alongside Kenya’s Vincent Keter, while Timothy Sein will be tasked with pacing the event.
World 5,000m champion Obiri will take on world steeplechase record holder and world champion Chepkoech in the 5,000m event that has also attracted the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who won the 1,500m and 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
Germany’s world 5,000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey will also take part.
1,500m Africa champion Winnie Chebet will join Obiri and Chepkoech as race pacemaker, while reigning 1,500 Olympic champion Kipyegon will drop from her 1,500m specialty to 1,000m.
The event race will also include Britain’s Laura Muir, and the Ugandan duo of world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nyanyondo.
Rotich, the 2017 Diamond League 800m trophy winner and world bronze medallist, will take on world champion Brazier Donavan of the US, as well as Bosnia’s Amel Tuka in the 800m event.
World U-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Leonard Bett will be the sole Kenyan representative in the water and barrier event, following the withdrawal of world champion Conseslus Kipruto, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Kipruto, 25, had been one of 11 Kenyan athletes cleared to compete on 14 August after the French government waived their visa applications.
But he announced he had failed the Covid-19 protocol test on Saturday.
“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape,” he said.
Kipruto claimed gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics and won back-to-back world titles at London in 2017 and Doha last year.
Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali and the Ethiopian duo of Getnet Wale and Lamecha Girma will also be chasing for the title.
Youngsters Jacob Krop and Nicholas Kimeli will challenge world champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in the men’s 5,000m event, while Kenyan-based Swiss runner Julien Wanders, who boasts a personal best of 13:1.84, will also be in contention.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Paris Marathon, rescheduled for November 15, has been cancelled.
The marathon was originally due to take place on April 5, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers said they had “tried everything to maintain the event” but felt “obliged” to call it off because of the difficulties faced by runners.
“There will be great disappointment among those who have sacrificed time training for what had become an autumn marathon,” organisers said.
“We will be working side by side with the city of Paris to put on a 2021 edition that brings together the most passionate runners on the most beautiful streets in the world.”