Records likely to be broken in Brussels meet

Friday, September 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon reacts after winning a previous race. INSET: World Women Marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei winning last year’s London Marathon. Photo/PD/FILE

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic 1, 500m Faith Chepng’etich lead a group of Kenyan athletes who are on the brink of clinching the Diamond League accolade at the fourth leg of the 2020 Wanda Diamond League at the AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels tonight.

The Kenyan contingent left the country on Monday evening after being subjected to a Covid-19 test three days before being cleared for their departure as part of the protocols to curb the spread of the virus.

They arrived at the Belgian capital Brussels on Tuesday morning oozing with confidence ahead of the race.

Kosgei who will be defending her London marathon title in a month’s time is targeting the women’s one-hour run in Brussels where she is pitted against world 1, 500m and 10, 000m champion Sifan Hassan of Netherlands.

Kosgei won last year’s prestigious London Marathon in a time of 2:18:20 ahead of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked 2:20:14 while Ethiopia’s Rosa Dereje was third in 2:20:51.

She later broke the women’s marathon record in Chicago later in the year, clocking 2 hours, 14 minutes and 04 seconds to bring to an end Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old record.

She is optimistic of lowering her personal best in the near future.

Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon reacts after winning a previous race. INSET: World Women Marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei winning last year’s London Marathon. Photo/PD/FILE

Last year, she ran the fastest half marathon time in history at the Great North Half Marathon race clocking 1:04:28, 23, a few seconds faster than the world record time of 1:04:51 set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017.

According to her World Athletics profile, the Brussels meeting will be Kosgei’s first serious track event, with only road performances including her incredible 2:14:04 marathon in Chicago last October listed so far.

The 26-year-old has a half-marathon PB of 64:28 which she set when she won the Great North Run last year.

Although that course is not record-eligible, Kosgei’s performance there is the fastest ever half-marathon time run by a woman.

Kipyegon, the world 1, 500m silver medallist will once again compete in the 1, 000m race after she clocked 2:29.15 at the first meeting in Monaco on August 14, falling just 0.17 shy of the world record.

The 26-year-old will thus have another opportunity to obliterate the world record over the distance.

The record currently stands at 2:28.98 set by Svetlana Masterkova in 1996 at the same track.

The Olympic medallist, who was 17 hundredths of a second shy of Masterkova’s two minutes, 28.98 sec world record time when she competed in Monaco two weeks ago, is optimistic that this time she will accomplish her mission in Brussels without doubt.

She will be in the same race with compatriots; World under-18 2000m steeplechase silver medallist Mercy Chepkurui and Africa Junior 3, 000m steeplechase champion Fancy Cherono.

“My training has been good, but not up to the standard because all tracks we were using were closed.

I have been doing my training along the road which is not that good.

The season has started, and I’m going to do my best here because this is my job,” Kipyegon told People Sport from Brussels.

She is among the few Kenyan athletes who have competed since the slow resumption of sports during the Covid-19 period.

She said that there are a lot of rules and protocols to be followed, which has no problem with.

National Cross County champion Sheila Chelang’at and the 2013 Africa Youth 1, 500m silver medallist Eva Cherono and reigning Tokyo Marathon champion Lonah Chemtai are the other Kenyans in the field.

With world 1, 500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot skipping the meet, his new-found foe, European champion Jakob Ingebrigsten will face off with Kenyan trio of Collins Kipruto, Evans Kipchumba and Boaz Kiprugut.

The in-form Norwegian played second fiddle to Cheruiyot at both the Monaco and Stockholm meets last month.

Multiple Olympic and world champion Mo Farah will compete in the men’s one-hour run alongside the Kenyan trio of Robert Keter, Peter Kiprotich and Kelvin Kiptum.

The meeting will be staged behind closed doors organisers said.

“The health and the safety of the spectators, the athletes and the staff are our highest concern and priority,” Brussels meeting director Cedric Van Branteghem said in a statement.

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