By Jonathan Komen
Nairobi, Kenya: World 5,000m and 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will not defend her titles at the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, this August.
Athletics fans around the world will miss what has been an exciting clash between Cheruiyot and Ethiopian rivals — Olympic champions Tirunesh Dibaba (10,000m), Meseret Defar (5,000m) and Meselech Melkamu, the former Africa 10,000m silver medalist.
Cheruiyot, a Chief Inspector of Police attached to the Criminal Investigations Unit (CID), said she will have a rare season off to be withn family, at least for one-and-half years.
“I will be out for sometime just like any other woman athlete. I am optimistic Kenyans will do well and have a bumper season,” Cheruiyot told FeverPitch by telephone Tuesday.
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Her move comes even as Kenya Police Service prepares to stage its athletics championships at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
But world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop and Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha are among top men’s athletes chasing Diamond League points who will honour the meet.
But most police world-beating stars will skip the two-day event as they prepare to line up at the third IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York, USA, on Saturday.
Police head coach Nicholas Kilisio said some of their athletes will miss the show as they have been allowed to participate in the 14-leg Diamond League series in Asia, Europe and America to seek qualifying times for IAAF World Championships that runs from August 10 to 18th.
“They are allowed to chase qualifying standards and get to study the opposition ahead of World championships,” said Kilisio.
Despite a poor showing at the Diamond League in Shanghai, World 5,000m silver medalist Sylvia Kibet is keen to make amends at the police meet lining up in 1,500m.
“I did not impress in Shanghai but I hope to use the Police Championships to regain form,” said Kibet.
She will be up against Monica Wangari, Edith Chelimo, Ann Karindi, Fridah Demongole and Beatrice Chepchumba.
Newcomer Sheila Chesang will light up the women’s 800m showpiece.
Veteran Pauline Njeri and former World Junior 3,000m champion Mercy Cherono are expected in the women’s 5,000m line up.
Janet Kisa, the former national cross-country champion, will take on fellow cops Anne Wanjiru and cross-country greats Esther Chemutai. Others to watch are World marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion Lucy Kabuu in the 10,000m distance.
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Abraham Kiplagat, who basks in a 1:43.7 all-time mark, longs to better his time, which he posted at Doha Diamond League.
Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase champion Richard Mateelong, who dropped out of the final at the Mumias meet, will lead the water and barriers charges.