Steeplechase record holder faces mile hurdle in Monaco Diamond League quest

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-11 19:57:43|Editor: Xiaoxia
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NAIROBI, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's 3000m steeplechase specialist Beatrice Chepkoech will return to Monaco on Friday, on a track she broke the world record two years ago, eyeing another win.

Chepkoech will be running her fifth race in the Diamond League circuit this year coming up against some of the world's fastest talent over the mile race in Monte Carlo.

"It may not be my specialty, but I have proved to be tough to beat before and I will want to take my chance and exploit it. The ultimate goal is to be at the peak level to run a world lead and win the gold at the World Championships in October," said Chepkoech on Thursday.

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba, who set the current world record of three minutes 50.07 seconds four years ago, will need to be at her best to withstand the challenge of the Dutch European 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan and Chepkoech.

In the 800m, Kenya's Ferguson Cheruyiot Rotich, who has clocked 1:43.93 this year will seek to stop Bostwana's Nijel Amos and European champion Adam Kszczot.

For France's world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, seeking a return to top form, this race offers a great opportunity to earn an IAAF World Championship qualifying mark of 1:45.50. Other Kenyans in the race are Jonathan Kitilit and Michael Saruni.

However, the focus will be on the vintage race, the 1,500m, which brings together the six top performers of the year, most notably Timothy Cheruiyot, the defending champion and world silver medalist.

With world champion Elijah Manangoi out with a hamstring injury, Cheruiyot will step up to fill the void and win his fourth race in the circuit after Stockholm, Prefontaine Classic, Doha and Oslo.

Kenya's world silver medalist took almost a second off the Lausanne meeting record at last Friday's Diamond League meeting, clocking 3:28.77, the fastest recorded this season.

He also set a then personal best of 3:28.41 in winning last year's 1500m in Monaco.

Facing him again will be Norwegian brothers Filip and 18-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, European champions at this distance in 2016 and 2018 respectively. The latter clocked 3:30.16 in Lausanne, a pending world U20 record.

Others in the field include Ethiopia's Samuel Tefera, who set a world indoor record of 3:31.39 earlier this year, Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman, who has run 3:30.79 this season, and Ronald Musagala of Uganda, who has clocked 3:31.33.

In the men's 3000m steeplechase, Kenya's contingent will include Nicholas Bett, Leonard Bett, Abraham Kibiwot, Benjamin Kigen, Lawrence Kipsang na Barnabas Kipyego.