The final leg of the 15-series World Athletics Diamond League meetings gets underway tonight inside Hayward Field Stadium at the University of Oregon in Eugene, US.
There will be plentiful mouth-watering clashes from the world’s top athletes – from our three-time world 1500m champion Faith Kipyeyon, world 800m champion Mary Moraa, Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala to America’s world 100m champions Noah Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson.
As usual, we expect our stars to ship home the bullion. This two-day contest will see the leading athletes from the 15-meeting series in 16 disciplines competing for a Diamond Trophy plus a first prize of $30,000 (Sh4.38m) in their event and a wild card entry for the World Athletics Championships.
More importantly, 14 Kenyans will be on the start line in various races with epic battles expected to light up the global stage. As a nation, we should rally behind our big shots.
Omanyala will go head to head with newly crowned world champion Noah Lyles and the silver Letsile Tebogo of Botswana tonight. We hope when the African cock crows, Omanyala will upset the formbook in Eugene. African ancestors are waiting!
Our greatest of all, Kipyegon will be up against Britain’s Laura Muir, Melissa Courtney-Bryant and Ireland’s Ciara Mageean as well as world silver medallist Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia in what we expect to prove her mettle and re-affirm her supremacy.
Having broken three world records and won two gold medals (1500m and 5000m) at the World Championships in Budapest, Kipyegon will no doubt give us a night to remember in Eugene.
Kipyegon set 1500m (3:49.11) world record in Florence, Italy; 5000m world record at the Paris Diamond League meet on June 9 in a new time of 14:05.20 before she descended on the one-mile record of 4:07.64 at the Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 21.
The women’s 800m showdown is another tough duel on the card in the two-day programme. We will watch medalists from the just concluded World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, have a rematch.
Our fast-rising Moraa will battle it out with Keely Hodgkinson of Britain and the bronze medalist Athing Mu of the US.
The Eugene showpiece stands out as a yardstick for 3,000m steeplechase contests – an event we have just lost grip despite ruling global shows for five decades.
We hope world 3,000m steeplechase bronze medalist Abraham Kibiwott, Olympic bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen and Leonard Bett are at their best to stop world champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.
A huge task awaits our champions in the US. But, as Kenyans, let’s stand up and cheer our stars!