Kenya's Cheruiyot, Korir lead challenge in Lausanne Diamond League

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-04 20:51:40|Editor: Xiaoxia
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NAIROBI, July 4 (Xinhua) -- World silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot is heading to Lausanne off the back of convincing victories in Stockholm, Sweden and Stanford, the U.S.

Cheruiyot has eyed killing two birds with one stone this season. To win the World Championships and defend his Diamond Trophy in a campaign his main challenger and world champion Elijah Manangoi has been faltering thanks to injury concerns.

"It was great to defend my title at the Profontaine Classic in Stanford. I have since snitched my focus to Lausanne and looking forward to the 1500m race," said Cheruiyot on Thursday.

The Lausanne race will be the eighth stop in the Diamond League and Cheruiyot holds a good lead against his opponents.

"The target this year is to defend the Diamond Trophy and win the World Championships. I have to deliver two this year," he added.

The 2018 Diamond League champion, who will be competing in Lausanne for the first time, currently leads the series in his event but will face the four men who follow him in the standings.

They are 2014 world indoor champion Ayanleh Souleiman, European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Rabat winner Vincent Kibet and world indoor bronze medalist Bethwel Birgen.

Another Diamond League champion, Emmanuel Korir, will be looking for his first 800m win of the year.

Korir, who is also the Africa 800m silver medalist, is seen as the heir apparent to Olympic champion David Rudisha. He however is yet to run at his full potential and 2019 may be his year of redemption.

"I have much at stake and hope to accomplish one win being the World Championships," he said. "However, for now the focus is on Lausanne."

Korir's task will be made slightly easier by the fact that Botswana's Nijel Amos, who beat him in Doha and Rabat meetings, won't be in Lausanne, but he will still have to compete with the likes of Canadian record-holder Brandon McBride, world and Olympic finalist Ferguson Cheruiyot, world indoor champion Adam Kszczot, Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and world indoor 1500m silver medalist Marcin Lewandowski.