Kipyegon and Ebenyo to lead Kenyan charges at Riga race

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon (1st right) competes during the women's 1500m Heat 2 of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 at the National Athletics Centre stadium in Budapest, Hungary on August 19. [Xinhua]

Five world record-holders in the six championship events are among the entries for the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, on October 1.

The global showpiece will coincide with the Eldoret City Marathon –one the continents highest paying 42km race.

The 347 athletes from 57 teams feature Olympic and world champions, who will be chasing global titles in the road mile, 5km and half marathon.

Three-time world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon could add her name to that world record list as she makes her road race debut in the Mile contest and closes one of the greatest seasons any athlete has ever compiled. The two-time Olympic 1500m champion has already set world records in the 1500m, Mile and 5000m on the track this season and she could add the road mile to her impressive CV in Riga.

But Kipyegon must be at her best to stop Ethiopia’s world 1500m silver medallist Diribe Welteji, her compatriot Freweyni Hailu and Australia’s Jess Hull, both ranked in the top eight all-time in the mile on the track and world 3000m steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech.

World under 1500m champion Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot and Kyumbe Munguti will lead the Kenyan men onslaught against a star-studded field that has USA’s Sam Prakel and Ethiopia’s Teddese Lemi.

Beatrice Chebet, who is fresh from bagging bronze in 5000m at the World Championships in Budapest and the winning the world cross country title in Bathurst in February, longs to win a world title in a field that also features 5km mixed race world record-holder Ejgayehu Taye, Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai and Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka, who is entered to double with the mile.

Three of the four fastest men in history clash in the men’s 5km in Ethiopia’s world record-holder Berihu Aregawi, compatriot Yomif Kejelcha and Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir will slug it out. Aregawi set his record of 12:49 in Barcelona on the final day of 2021

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