Cheruiyot and Abel Kipsang to defend 1500m title on Wednesday after booking a slot in the finals

Silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot, of Kenya, poses on the podium during he medal ceremony for the men's 1,500-meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Tokyo. AP Photo

World champion Timothy Cheruiyot will battle to defend his 1500m crown on Wednesday after booking a slot in the finals of the heated race at the ongoing 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.

Cheruiyot finished fourth in his heat where he clocked 3:37.04 behind winner Josh Kerr (3:36.92), Mario Garcia (3:37.01) and Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen (3:37.02).

Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen reacts as he crosses the finish line with Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot during the men's 1500 meter final during the Diamond League athletics meeting in Monaco Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. AP

Cheruiyot will be joined by Abel Kipsang, the World Indoor bronze medallist.

 Kipsang, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics rallied from three places behind at the bell, to take the lead with 300m to go and easily won the second semi-final heat in three minutes and 33.68 seconds.

Mohammed Katir from Spain was second in 3:34.45 as James Wightman of Britain finished third to all qualify to the final.

Kenya's Abel Kipsang in men's 1500m semifinal yesterday. [Reuters]

 Kipsang and Cheruiyot will have the Olympic champion, Ingebrigtsen to worry about as the Norwegian out-sprinted Kipruto at the Tokyo Olympics to win in 3:28.32, an Olympic Record.

Another Kenyan, Kumari Taki was unlucky as he tumbled and fell in the opening lap and could not recover in time for qualification, finish 12th in his heat.

Kenya is yet to lose the World 1,500m title since 2011.

Asbel Kiprop won the world titles in 2011 Daegu, 2013 Moscow and 2015 Beijing.

Elijah Manangoi extended Kenya’s dominance in 2017 London before Cheruiyot in 2019 Doha.

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