Kenyan champs Cheruiyot, Manangoi to duel at Prefontaine Classic

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-07 22:40:15|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The world's best milers will face off for the third time this year at the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene, Oregon on June 30, the seventh stop in the Diamond League circuit.

Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi have dominated the world mile distance scene since Manangoi led a 1-2 Kenyan sweep in the London World Championships 1,500m.

Last year, they flipped 1-2 positions in world ranking. No one has beaten both in the same race in almost two years.

Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, Cheruiyot exuded confidence he will gain the advantage over his rival after each claimed one win apiece in Doha and Stockholm.

"No better a moment than Global Running Day to confirm I will be back to race the Prefontaine Classic over the mile distance. Thereafter I will head to Lausanne for the 1,500m. That is what is in my plans for my next races," said Cheruiyot.

Manangoi has had the edge in championship races winning in London World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Africa Championships.

However, over the Diamond League, Cheruiyot has bagged the Diamond Trophy on the last two occasions and is keen to firm his grip this year, which will culminate with the World Championships in Doha, in October.

Cheruiyot, 23, has his 1,500m best of 3:28.41, which makes him the world's seventh fastest in the race.

He came out of nowhere as a 19-year-old in 2015 to make the Beijing Worlds final, taking seventh. He didn't make the powerful Kenyan Olympic team for Rio but he has won the last two Kenyan 1,500m titles.

Manangoi, 26, is all set to defend his London World gold, beating Cheruiyot earlier this month at the Doha Diamond League 1,500m.

Manangoi has a stellar record, starting with a silver in the Beijing Worlds that propelled him to four straight top-3 world rankings.

He owns a career 11-9 record over Cheruiyot and is seeking his first Mile title - in 2017 he lost by just 0.04 seconds, the closest in meet history.