Kenyans eye glory in Oslo Diamond League meet

Timothy Cheruiyot competes in the men 1500m semi-final at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham on day seven of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. [File, Standard]

Kenyan stars will be up against strong fields at the Oslo Diamond League meeting this evening, just five days after jaw-dropping performances in Oregon last weekend.

They will be renewing rivalry in a meeting where Olympic, World champions and record holders are keen to stamp authority as they gauge their readiness for the Paris Olympics in July.

2019 world champion Timothy Cheruiyot will be going up against Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who won both the 1500m and 5000m Diamond League titles last year, in what is seen as a renewed rivalry.

Cheruiyot was second behind Brian Komen at the circuit in Doha earlier this month and is looking to shine as he faces his biggest rival, homeboy – Ingebrigtsen.

Ingebrigtsen, on the other hand, is fresh from a second place finish in One Mile at last weekend’s Prefontaine Classic.

Cheruiyot will be in the company of Boaz Kiprugut, an African Under-20 silver medallist in the sixth leg of the circuit.

The likes of Ingebrigtsen’s compatriot Narve Gilje Nordas, the world bronze medallist, alongside Azeddine Habz and Stewart McSweyn are in the 1500m mix.

Ingebrigtsen is returning to a meeting where he ran an impressive 3:27.95 last season.

The men’s 5,000m will be another major focus this evening.

The fastest ever assembled field will be clashing for honours in what would be the toughest contest of the season.

If you sort by best times, the world record holder, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda will be starring.

And if you use ranking as a basis, the top four 5,000m stars are in the lineup.

But don’t forget that Stanley Mburu Waithaka, a world 10,000m silver medallist will be proving a point as he makes a return.

Cheptegei holds the 12:35.36 men’s 5,000m world record and he is the Olympic champion and world champion in 10,000 in 2019, 2022 and 2023.

Yomif Kejelcha from Ethiopia, who is also in the race ranks top in the distance.

He bagged a world 10,000m silver medal in 2019 and was the World Indoor champion in 3,000m in 2016 and 2018.

Still, there is Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo who has a personal best of 12:41.73.

Kiplimo took home a 10,000m bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics, and he is a two-time World Cross Country champion (2023 and 2024).

Telahun Haile Bekele of Ethiopia, who is number four in the world ranking and boasts a 12:42.70 personal best, will also be in the mix.

Olympian Edinah Jebitok will be featuring in the women’s 3,000m as she hopes to make it to the Olympics once again.

She will be competing alongside African 10,000m gold medallist Caroline Nyagah in an event that will also have Ethiopian women – Likina Amebaw and Wubrist Achal among other top guns.

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