Kenyans go on trophy hunt at Zurich DL

Gold medal winner Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi celebrates with silver medallist Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot and ...
Gold medal winner Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi celebrates with silver medallist Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot and Kenya's Asbel Kiprop after the final of the men's 1500m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Antonin THUILLIER

Kenyan athletes will be gunning for glory at one of the IAAF Diamond Leagues in Zurich on August 24 and with the coveted diamond trophy now closely in sight.

Having claimed impressive victories at the Doha and Monaco legs, freshly minted World champion Elijah Manangoi will lead seven of his compatriots in a star-studded 1500m cast.

His training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, who took silver in London ahead of Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway, will also be in the line-up in Switzerland’s largest city alongside Beijing Olympics gold medallist and three-time World champion Asbel Kiprop who has won the trophy thrice.

Stiff competition is expected between Managoi and Cheruiyot with both having set world leading (WL) times this season.

At the start of the Diaond League in Doha, Manangoi set a WL of 3:31.90 before Cheruiyot lowered it in Stockholm (3:30.77). Manangoi hit back to regain his World lead in Monaco with a lifetime best of 3:28.80 two weeks before he went on to clinch gold at the IAAF World Championships in London.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Kenyan athletes will be plotting the downfall of Emma Coburn, who led an American 1-2 finish at the World Championships a fortnight ago, as they seek to regain their dominance over the distance and the 2017 series crown.

Rio Olympic silver medalist and Beijing world champion Hyvin Kiyeng will lead Commonwealth champion Purity Kirui and World Junior champion Celliphine Chepteek Chespol among others after a disappointing outing in London.

Kiyeng relinquished her title to Corbon to settle for a bronze medal as Beatrice Chepkoech, Chespol and Purity Kirui finished fourth, sixth and 10th respectively at the biennial competition.

Rio bronze medalist Margaret Nyairera will be hoping to redeem herself in the women’s 800m after finishing fourth in London out of the medal bracket. Moscow 2013 World Champion, Eunice Sum, who made a full recovery, will join Nyairera in the hunt for the 800m glory.

Sum, withdrew from the World Championships after falling ill on the eve of her competition day and their main task will be ending South African Olympic and three-time world champion Caster Semneya winning streak.

Semenya, the race favourite, will be hoping to retain the Diamond Trophy in the 800m though her toughest opposition will be from Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba who has two silver medals from Rio 2016 Olympics Games and from the recently concluded World Championships and Wambui.

The men’s 5000m, will be another star event as four time Olympic and six times world champion Sir Mo Faraha meets with Muktar Edris of Ethiopia after denying him the world title at his home soil 10 days ago.

Mo will be making his final appearance in the track as last year’s Summer Games silver medalist Kenyan born American Paul Chelimo looks forward to stealing the show alongside former African Championships bronze medalist Ronald Kwemoi, Cornelius Kagogo.

A total of USD 100,000 (Ksh10.32M) will be at stake in each of the 16 Diamond Trophy disciplines in both Zurich and Brussels for a total combined prize purse of $3.2 million (Ksh 330.240M) with $50,000 (Ksh 5.16M) along with the Diamond Trophy, going to each winner. Prize money will be paid as follows:


1st – US$ 50,000  (Ksh 5.16M)

2nd – US$ 20,000 (Ksh 2.064M)

3rd – US$ 10,000 (Ksh 1.032M)

4th – US$ 6000 (Ksh 619,200)

5th – US$ 5000 (Ksh 516,000)

6th – US$ 4000 ( Ksh 412,800)

7th – US$ 3000 (Ksh 309,600)

8th – US$ 2000 (Ksh 206400)

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Story By Charity Wanja
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