Kiprop seeks to recapture mile title in Eugene Diamond League meet

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-10 00:49:26|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop will return to the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 to compete in the IAAF Diamond League meeting's most famous race, the Bowerman Mile.

Kiprop is the world's most dominant miler. Despite being edged out of a medal in Rio Olympics, the Kenyan has won four global titles, including the Olympic gold medal from 2008 games in Beijing when he was still a teenager.

He is also the most prolific winner of the 1500m/mile Diamond Trophy, having won in 2010, 2015 and 2016.

"I like the Mile race and hope to win there this time. It is all in preparation for London world championships where I intend to defend my title," said Kiprop.

Last year, the Kenyan claimed a record fourth Bowerman Mile title and this year he can venture into more rare Pre Classic record territory.

All of his previous eight Bowerman Miles have been run within 4:00. One more sub-four-minute performance will give him the most ever recorded by one athlete in Eugene. His slowest performance at the Pre Classic is 3:51.54.

Others in the field are Elijah Manangoi (Kenya) who is the world 1500m leader, winning the IAAF Diamond League kick-off event in Doha.

The world silver medalist has a 1500m best of 3:29.67 and finished third in last year' s Bowerman Mile. Ronald Kwemoi of Kenya is the Commonwealth silver medallist and has a mile best of 3:52.57.

Last week, the Olympic finalist destroyed a superb field over 3000m in Doha to win in 7:28.73, showing a turn of speed over the last 100 metres that will give all the other fast-finishers something to think about.

USA's Clayton Murphy is the youngest in the field at 22 and is currently the 800m world leader. He clocked 1:43.60 at the Mt SAC Relays. At 34, New Zealand's Nick Willis is the oldest in the field.

The meeting record-holder at 3:47.32, Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti was just 0.05 from a medal in Rio last summer. He missed last year's Pre Classic due to injury but won in 2015 and 2014, having finished fourth in 2013 and third in 2012.

Then there is Kenya's Silas Kiplagat won the 1500m Diamond Trophy in 2012 and 2014. The 2011 world silver medalist will be making his seventh straight appearance in the Bowerman Mile.

The field also includes Kenyan trio Timothy Cheruiyot, Vincent Kibet and Bethwell Birgen, as well as Norway's European champion Filip Ingebrigtsen, USA's Ben Blankenship and Britain's Charlie Grice.

The Bowerman Mile is named after Bill Bowerman, a legendary figure in athletics history who coached national championship teams four times at the University of Oregon between 1962 and 1970, where he mentored Steve Prefontaine.