By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, April 30 (Xinhua) -- World 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono of Kenya will skip the Shanghai Diamond League meeting on May 17.
Cherono, who won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will be missing her second competition in China, after failing to make the team to the World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang in March.
"I will not be running in Shanghai. I know it is the first stop in my discipline (5,000) in the Diamond League campaign, but I still have time to catch up with the pace setters," she said on Thursday in Eldoret.
Cherono, 23, confirmed that she will only make her debut to the Diamond League season, a 14-tier competition, in Eugene, Oregon in the USA on May 30.
"I want to start my campaign in Eugene. The focus is on winning the World Championships in Beijing in August and it is important to watch carefully, which event, I will be running to avoid burning out," she said.
Cherono was one of the five Kenyans to have won the Diamond League Trophy. Others are Eunice Sum (800m), Silas Kiplagat (1,500), Caleb Mwangangi (5,000m) and Jairus Birech (3,000m steeplechase).
"I want to retain the title again," she said. "I have other seven races to compete in and win and catch up with whoever will have made it first off the blocks. There is room to improve too, especially after the World Championships."
The main challenger will be Agnes Jebet, who after winning her first gold 8km senior women gold medal at the World Cross Championships in Guiyang, is set to make return to China for another medal sweep.
"I know winning World Championships is not easy, but I will try my best to come home with a medal. I did well in my junior races and I have to extend the same in my senior ranks," said Jebet.
The IAAF Diamond League encompasses 32 individual event disciplines, with a points scoring "Diamond Race" which runs throughout the 14 meeting series.
Winners of each diamond race will get a diamond trophy, 50,000 U.S. dollars cash prize, a wild card for the IAAF World Championships. And more importantly, they will have shown season long consistency to earn the unchallenged honour of being the World Number 1.
Each of the disciplines is staged seven times. The top three athletes are awarded the same amount of points at each meeting, with the exception of the final in Zurich or Brussels where the points are doubled.
The athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the IAAF Diamond League season wins "The Diamond Race" .
However, to claim the prize and trophy, winners must compete in the final in Zurich or Brussels their event discipline.