NAIROBI, May 27 (Xinhua) -- World 3,000m record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya said Monday she will make her first attempt to improve on her steeplechase record in Oslo, Norway on June 13.
"The focus is to run fast time because when you do that, the record will fall in place. In Oslo it will be a great challenge to face the best in the sport," she said.
Chepkoech started off the track season brightly when she set a world lead of 9:04.53 at the Shanghai Diamond League in China.
It is far off the world lead time of 8:44.32, which she set in 2017 that took more than eight seconds off the world record and established Chepkoech as the world's number one ranked athlete in the event.
In the field is also the reigning world champion, American Emma Coburn, who broke the east African domination of the event in London where her finishing speed was irresistible even to the seasoned Kenyan competitors.
Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng is a most durable athlete having won medals at Olympic Games (silver) and World Championships (gold and silver) and has a personal best of 9:00.01, an agonizing 1/100th of a second away from being a sub 9-minute performer.
Besides Chepkoech there are two further competitors who have run the distance in under nine minutes.
Kenya's youthful pair of Norah Jeruto and Celliphine Chespol are both sitting third and fifth on the all-time list at this event.
The top European Gesa Felicitas Kraus can never be discounted. She has a bronze medal at world championships as well taking her second straight European title with a commanding performance in Berlin last season.
Of course, there will be huge local interest in Norway's Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal, who has been an outstanding performer over many distances in her career.