Kipsang to lead Kenyan charges in Birmingham

Kenya's Abel Kipsang competing in men's 1,500m semis in Tokyo Olympics last year. [Reuters]

A dogfight awaits as top guns battle in the second leg of the Wanda Diamond League meeting inside Alexander Stadium in Birmingham in the United Kingdom today.

There are plentiful of mouth-watering clashes on the card, with showstoppers expected in a number of races –including women’s 100m and men’s 1,500m.

The clash pitting Ethiopia’s two-time world indoor champion Samuel Tefera, Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr of UK and Abel Kipsang, fourth at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in 1,500m would be a sight to behold. It would also provide a bearing on who shall stand out as 1,500m king in 2022.

Kipsang, who holds the fastest time (3:31.01) this season in the line up, won the 2022 Diamond League circuit in Doha on Friday last week.

Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway will make his Diamond League debut at the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene, USA, on May 28.

Kenya’s Charles Simotwo, who has a personal best of 3:30.30, is also in the mix.

Olympic 800m silver medallist Ferguson Rotich, will carry his 1:46.33 season best mark to start line against Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal in the two-lap race. Homeboy and 2013 European junior champion Jake Wightman (1:46.44) is also hungry for glory.

Winny Chebet, the Africa 1500m champion, leads the women’s onslaught with a season best of 4:08.29 against home-girl and Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir, who has a personal best of 3:54.50.

Ethiopians in two-time world indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye (3:59.02) and 2018 world under 20 champion Diribe Welteji (3:58.93) are also itching for title.

Jackline Chepngétich (15:39.8) needs to be at her best to counter Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba (14:25.34) and Ethiopians Dawit Seyaum and Fantu Worku (14:26.80) and Ejgayehu Taye (14:14.08).

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, the World Athlete of the Year, headlines a stacked women’s 100m field. She had a remarkable 2021 season, winning an Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m treble in Tokyo.

In men’s contest, Canada’s Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse takes on USA’s 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell, who has run 9.92 this season, plus his US compatriot Marvin Bracy, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake.

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