Former World Under-20 champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi is looking to stretch his two-lap dominance at the Paris Diamond League on Friday.
The youngster will be facing 800m bigshots – Olympic and world champion Emmanuel Korir and double Commonwealth gold medallist Wycliffe Kinyamal in another battle for honours.
They will also be seeking to stamp Kenya’s authority in 800m two weeks after the Rabat Diamond leg where Wanyonyi, 18, outclassed Kinyamal and Korir in one of his surprise victories this season.
The Meeting de Paris will be staged in the French capital which will host next year’s Olympic Games.
Wanyonyi, who trains under former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei’s close watch in Nandi displayed astonishing dominance in the two-lap race last month.
He won the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour in Nairobi in style before recording another triumph at the Rabat Diamond League meet in Morocco.
Wanyonyi is lining up in Paris tomorrow as the world leader, a feat he recorded after running 1:43.2 in Rabat.
The world will be keenly watching to see whether the youngster will sustain the momentum and the meteoric rise to stardom in Paris.
If he destroys the stellar field in his second Diamond League show tomorrow, Wanyonyi will be making a major announcement ahead of the Budapest World Championships in August.
In Rabat, Wanyonyi made it clear that his sights were focused on flying the Kenyan flag at the Budapest World Championships.
“Competing against my compatriots Korir and Kinyamal was tough. The Rabat race was good preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Budapest,” Wanyonyi said after winning in Morocco.
Kinyamal finished second in Rabat and will be seeking to claim victory.
Korir, who was the race favorite in Rabat, placed eighth in the event. Paris will be an opportunity for him to rewrite his 800m CV after the poor show.
French 1500m national champion Azeddine Habz and his compatriots Benjamin Robert and Andreas Kramer as well as Patryk Sieradzki of Algeria will be contesting for the 800m title.
The men’s 100m battle will also be the centre of attraction at the fourth leg of the Diamond League.
African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyal is set to battle top guns.
Among the world’s top sprinters eyeing glory in Paris tomorrow is Jamaica’s double Olympic and World champion Yohan Blake, two-time world champion medallist Noah Lyles of USA and Marcell Jacobs (Olympic champion) of Italy.
By yesterday, double world champion Fred Kerley who had outsprinted Omanyala in Rabat and last week in Rome was not in the Paris start list.
If Kerley runs tomorrow, it will be the third clash with Omanyala this season after Rabat, and Rome.
Olympic bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen, Commonwealth silver medallist Abraham Kibiwott and 2021 World Under-20 champion will be lining up in the men’s 3000m steeplechase.
Kigen, Kibiwott and Serem will be battling Olympic silver medallist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, his countryman Tegenu Mengistu and USA’s Anthony Rotich in the water and barrier race.