Diamond League champion Cheruiyot ready for post-lockdown event

Friday, August 14th, 2020 00:00 |
World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot.

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot says it’s a victory of its kind to be able to race again ahead of tonight’s Monaco Diamond League meeting.

The three-time Diamond League winner says athletes have been waiting anxiously for the first post-lockdown international track and field event since the  Covid-19 pandemic tore up the sporting calendar.

At a newly-laid track at the Stade Louis II, the Kenya Prisons Service inspector will line up against Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who won a promotional virtual race dubbed the ‘Impossible Games’ in June. 

Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha will also be in the mix alongside Kenya’s Vincent Keter, while Timothy Sein will be tasked with pacing the event.

“It feels good to be in a position where we are going to race again given the uncertain times we are living in.

Not being to able to compete has been some form of torture to all athletes. Getting here ahead of the first stop of the Diamond League is some victory,” Cheruiyot shared with People Sport from Monaco.

“Monaco remains one of my favorite courses. It has even more significance since it is the first stop when track and field returns,” said Cheruiyot.

In other races, world 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich who is also the 2017 Diamond League  trophy winner will take on, among others, world champion Brazier Donavan of the US and Bosnia’s Amel Tuka in the two-lap race event.

In the world Under-20 3,000m race, steeplechase champion Leonard Bett will be the sole Kenyan representative in the water and barrier event, following the withdrawal of world champion Conseslus Kipruto who tested positive for Covid-19 .

In another race, World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will renew her rivalry with Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who won the 1,500m and 10,000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Reigning 1,500 Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will drop from her 1,500m specialty to 1,000m.

The  race will also include Britain’s Laura Muir, and the Ugandan duo of world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nyanyondo.

Finally, Jacob Krop and Nicholas Kimeli will challenge world champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in the men’s 5,000m, with Kenyan-based Swiss runner Julien Wanders also in contention.

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