World and Olympic medallists Asbel Kiprop, Vivian Cheruiyot, Nicholas Bett, Hyvin Kiyeng, Geoffrey Kamworor and Faith Chepng’etich are part of the Kenyan stars to watch out for at the Prefontaine Classic due on Saturday in Eugene, USA.
Fresh from winning in Doha in a world lead time of 3:32.15 in 1,500m, Kiprop, who is the World 1,500m champion, is going for his fourth title in the classical Bowerman Mile, having run sub-3:50 at the Pre Classic five times.
Kiprop has run the Bowerman Mile for the last seven years, and a sub-4 this year will equal Bernard Lagat’s record in the meet history.
Kiprop, who won the Diamond League Series last year, faces World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, 2011 World 1,500m silver medallist Silas Kiplagat and the two-time reigning Bowerman Mile champion Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti among others.
Kiplagat, also a two-time Diamond League winner, has faced Kiprop five times in the Bowerman Mile but Kiplagat has a 3-2 lead over the World champion.
Manangoi has played second fiddle to Kiprop in their last two meetings, at the Worlds and in Doha. It will be Managoi’s first appearance in Eugene.
Souleiman, the 2014 World Indoor champion, won the 2014 Bowerman Mile in a meet record 3:47.32 and retained it last year in 3:51.10.
Cheruiyot, the World 10,000m champion, kick starts her season with the 5,000m race that has drawn the 2013 World 5,000m silver medallist, Mercy Cherono, who finished second in 3,00m in Doha and 2013 World 1,500m bronze medallist Hellen Obiri. Ethiopia’s World 1,500m champion Genzebe Dibaba has withdrawn from the race due to an injury.
Kiyeng, the World 3,000m steeplechase champion, affirmed her dominance over her specialty, winning in Shanghai in a world lead of 9:07.42.
Kiyeng is the favourite in the field that has Commonwealth champion Purity Kirui, 2013 World silver medallist Lydia Chepkirui and Olympic silver medallist Sofia Asefa from Ethiopia.
After a poor sixth place finish in Shanghai, World 400m hurdles champion Bett will be out to rediscover his wining form in the men’s 400m hurdles.
Bett and Jeffery Gibson of the Bahamas will be the focus of many curious eyes, coming in as the gold and bronze medallists from last summer’s World Championships in Beijing.
MWANGANGI, KAMWOROR FACE FARAH
The men’s 5,000m battle that is rich with talent. World 5,000m silver medallist Caleb Mwangangi and Kamworor, the World 10,000m silver medallist, are some of the Kenyans who will be out to stop World and Olympic champion Briton Mo Farah.
Others are 2013 World 5,000m bronze medallist Isaiah Kiplangat. Also in the race is 2012 Olympics 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa, 2008 Olympics 5,000m bronze medallist Edwin Soi and World 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui.
Source: The Nation