Kenya’s London stars head to Birmingham DL
Barely a week after the conclusion of the IAAF World Championships, a horde of Kenyan athletes that were part of the Team Kenya that finished second overall in London are returning to the track.
Freshly minted World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and three-time winner in the World 1500m Asbel Kiprop are among eight local stars that will grace a stacked Birmingham Diamond League (DL) meet on Sunday.
Kiprop, a Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics gold medallist, says is not disappointed despite his dismal performance in London that saw him miss out on a podium place and in the process relinquishing his World 1500m title to compatriot Elijah Managoi.
The 28-year-old who had won each of the previous three editions admitted poor preparation cost him what would have been a record-equaling fourth successive crown but has now switched his focus to earning an invite to the DL finals in Brussels September 1.
“I will race the 800m event for points though I still have one more race in Zurich where I shall do my normal 1500m event,” Kiprop said.
He will compete against compatriot and London World Championships bronze medalist Kipyegon Bett, Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and 2012 London Olympics Games silver medallist Nijel Amos.
The two Kenyans will keep close tabs on Amos who is the world leader this season as well as Polish Adam Kszczot who took silver in the just concluded global track and field athletics showpiece.
Rio Olympics Games 5000m silver medalist and now a World champion, Hellen Obiri is targeting a second victory in Britain in the women’s 3000m event.
Obiri who bagged her first global title last Sunday will be up against reigning and former IAAF World Cross Country champions – Lilian Kasait and Agnes Tirop – as well as All-African Games champion Magaret Chelimo Kipkemboi.
The Kenyans are hot favourites for a clean podium sweep with Obiri’s compatriots out to deny her a second win in a week.
Winny Chebet will be the lone solider in the women’s 1500m race.
In the non Diamond League race, former Commonwealth Youth Games champion Davis Kiplangat will be looking to redeem himself in the men’s 3000m event.
During the World Championships in London, Kiplangat failed to advance to the 5000m final after being ranked 37th with a time of 14:52.98.
He will be joined by Bethwel Birgen and Vincent Kibet.
After losing his final championship race on the track, British distance running icon Mo Farah will return to compete in the men’s 3000m in front of the home crowd.
On his return to London, Farah who had won the first of his four global double doubles of 5,000m and 10,000m at the English capital in 2012 settled for silver for the first time in six years of global championship competition after falling to Muktar Edris of Ethiopia in the 5K finals.
-Additional reporting by Matthews Mutai.
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