Kenyan Athletics Royalty Out To Set Prefontaine Diamond League Alight

Jun 29 - by IAAF for SportPesa News

Olympic champion, Chepng'etich, world champions Obiri and Manangoi, record holder Chepkoech as well as circuit champion Cheruiyot to line up in star-studded meet on Sunday

Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon of Kenya reacts as she wins gold in the women's 1500 metres final during the "IAAF Athletics World Championships London 2017" at London Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom on August 7, 2017. PHOTO/AFP

  • Rio 2016 women 1500m gold medallist, Chepng'etich will mark her return to action after taking a maternal break in the star studded women seven and a half lap-race where the world champion will take on European titleholder, Laura Muir, the 2018 Prefontaine winner, Shelby Houlihan and the Ethiopian duo of Gudaf Tsegay and Axumawit Embaye on Sunday
  • In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Kenya’s world record-holder Chepkoech will try to fend off the challenge from world champion Emma Coburn and North American record-holder Courtney Frerichs, but the assault will not be limited to the US duo
  • Prefontaine's traditional home, Hayward Field in Oregon is undergoing renovations ahead of hosting the 2021 IAAF World Championships

OREGON, United States- Olympic titleholder, Faith Chepng'etich Kipyegon, world champions Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manangoi, record holder Beatrice Chepkoech as well as Timothy Cheruiyot will be among the Kenyans to watch at the stacked Prefontaine Classic IAAF Diamond League that shifted to Stanford, California this year.

Rio 2016 women 1500m gold medallist, Chepng'etich will mark her return to action after taking a maternal break in the star studded women seven and a half lap-race where the world champion will take on European titleholder, Laura Muir, the 2018 Prefontaine winner, Shelby Houlihan and the Ethiopian duo of Gudaf Tsegay and Axumawit Embaye on Sunday.

In the 3000m flat, Ethiopia’s world and Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana will be making her first competitive appearance on the track since 2017. She is jumping right in at the deep end, too, as she’ll face world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba and world 5000m and cross-country champion Obiri.

READ ALSO: Kipchoge Sub-Two Hour Marathon Attempt Slated For Vienna In October

Dibaba, who won the 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Rome and Rabat, is in prime fitness and will want to avenge her loss to Obiri over 3000m in Doha last month. Obiri, meanwhile, will be keen to make amends after falling in the 5000m in Stockholm and trailing home in 12th place.

Convincing winner

Others to keep an eye on are European 5000m champion Sifan Hassan, who ran 3:55.93 to finish runner-up to Dibaba over 1500m in Rabat, and Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Kenya’s world record-holder Chepkoech will try to fend off the challenge from world champion Emma Coburn and North American record-holder Courtney Frerichs, but the assault will not be limited to the US duo.

Chepkoech’s compatriots Celliphine Chespol, who set the world U20 record at the 2017 Prefontaine Classic, Norah Jeruto, who beat Chepkoech in Oslo, and 2015 world champion Hyvin Kiyeng will certainly challenge.

Cheruiyot was a convincing winner of the Bowerman Mile at last year’s Prefontaine Classic and went on to win the Diamond trophy later in the year.

READ ALSO: Safari Rally Drivers, Officials To Face Doping Tests In WRC Candidate Event

 The Kenyan will defend his mile honour in Stanford but will face a tough field that includes world champion Elijah Manangoi, who beat Cheriuyot in Doha last month, world indoor mile record-holder Yomif Kejelcha, Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, 2014 world indoor champion and 2018 Prefontaine Classic champion Ayanleh Souleiman and Norwegian wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the European 1500m and 5000m champion.

Although the likes of Dibaba and Hassan will be contesting the 3000m, the women's 1500m is still brimming with quality. World and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will return from maternity leave to take on European champion Laura Muir, 2018 Prefontaine Classic winner Shelby Houlihan and Ethiopian duo Gudaf Tsegay and Axumawit Embaye.

Prefontaine's traditional home, Hayward Field in Oregon is undergoing renovations ahead of hosting the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

READ ALSO: Captain Wanyama Hails Kenya's Resilience After Scintillating AFCON Triumph