Kenyans eyes Farah scalp, Kiprop out to dominate Eugene DL

Asbel Kiprop winning the Bowerman Mile at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (PHOTO/...
Asbel Kiprop winning the Bowerman Mile at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (PHOTO/IAAF/Kirby Lee)

The 5,000m men’s race is poised to be a mouthwatering contest with seven Kenyans on the entry list at the third League meeting in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday and Friday.

Former Olympics and three time world champion Asbel Kiprop will be looking forward to retain his dominance over the Bowerman Mile at the West Coast of the USA when the competition goes down.

In his first season race, Kiprop will be looking for a fifth Bowerman title after a disappointing outing in Brazil during the Summer Games.

So far he has won three diamond league trophies and  is expected to face stiff competition from his friend and world silver medalist Elijah Managoi who has a world leading time of 3:31.90 in the 1500m.

Last year Kiprop clinched the top podium place in 3:51.54 while London 2012 Olympics and world bronze medalist Abdalaati Iguider stopped the timer at 3:51.96 for the first runners up position while Managoi clocked 3:52.39 for third.

“I think I have endurance this time and what I’m looking for is speed which I still need to concentrate on. We discussed it with my coach and that’s why I opted to race in the 800m event at the Police championships,” Managoi told Citizen Digital in his post-race interview last week during the Kenya Police Service (KPS) championships at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

The duo will be joined by eight countrymen led by Bethwell Birgen (3:50.42) who is the fastest on the track and finished third during the Doha, Qatar meeting on May 5, African silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot, Vincent Kibet, Silas Kiplagat, Elijah Kipchirchir Kiptoo, Ronald Kwemoi and Andrew Kiptoo Rotich.

Kenya’s 5,000m field will be championed by world silver medalist Caleb ‘The Buffalo’ Mwangangi Ndiku and Moscow 2013 Worlds bronze medalist Isaiah Kiplangat Koech who will be desperate to erase their underwhelming performances at the Rio Olympics Games.

The duo will be joined by Rio 10,000m silver medalist Paul Tanui as well as World 10k silver and two time world cross champion Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor.

They will come up against the force that is Britain’s four time Olympics and five-time world champion Mo Farah and two Kenyan-born Americans, Rio silver medalist Paul Chelimo and Leonard Korir to reclaim the country’s dominance over the distance.

Mwangangi hopes to lower his personal best (PB) of 12 minutes and 59 seconds as he targets a podium finish at the fourth coming IAAF World Championships in London slated for August.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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