Kipruto wants ‘fast pace’ at Brussels season-ender
Rio Olympics gold medallist and World champion Conseslus Kipruto will not attempt to have a crack at the 3000m steeplechase world record of 7:53.63 but requested for a fast pace as curtains fall on the track and field season in Brussels.
Kipruto, 22, said in a pre-race conference that he has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained during the Kenyan National Trials in June ahead of the season-ending leg that will see winners of 16 Diamond League events determined.
Winners of the first 16 disciplines were decided during the penultimate round in Zurich last week.
“I do not have worries that I had in London, my ankle was a big worry. Now it’s better than it was during the World Championships and I’m hoping for a victory in Brussels. I will not be going for the world record.
“I have asked for a very fast pace so I don’t know what the outcome will be. Hopefully with Evan Jager in the track things could turn out great since I want to run under 8 minutes or under,” Kipruto said at a presser in Brussels.
The two-time World silver medalist will faces off American Jager who is a constant threat to Kenya’s dominance over the distance.
Kipruto added that he withdrew from the Monaco Diamond League to focus on his recovery since his main aim was to upgrade his Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015 silver medals to gold at the London 2017 edition.
“I knew I had strong opposition,” he said. “If you see someone else in shape, and you have a problem, that’s two big problems. I was worried if I could make it though since I was going for therapy like three to four times a day. I prayed before the final and decided that I will stick Jager and I got my tactics right.”
Jager has finished twice behind Kirputo; at the Rio Summer Games and the London World Championships. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jairus Birech and World Junior champion Amos Kirui will join the duo in the Brussels hunt.
Kipruto will be looking for a third Diamond trophy and will be in line to pocket KSh5.16 million in cash reward.
In the women’s 1500m, World Championships titles holder Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon will be looking forward to closing her season with the coveted Diamond trophy as she continues to stamp her supremacy over the distance.
All- African Games silver medallist Winny Chebet will also be in the chase after ranking 15th in 1500m semifinals a few weeks ago in London Championships.
Rio Olympics silver medallist and World champion Hellen Obiri will lead former IAAF World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop, World Junior Championships silver medalist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, All- African Games Champion Margret Kipkemboi and former African Junior champion Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui in the hunt for 5000m Diamond Trophy.
Having achieved his season’s target World Champion Elijah Manangoi will spice up the men’s 1500m non Diamond League race alongside African Championships bronze medalist Vincent Letting.
During the Zurich meeting, Managoi finished third behind world silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot who took the race honors and Silas Kiplagat.
“I have no pressure since I have already closed my season. My target was to lower my personal best and bag a gold medal and I’ve done all that. I look forward to having a good time in the race,” Managoi who won silver at the 2015 Beijing World Championships said.
Cheruiyot led an impressive 1,2,3,4,5,6 Kenyan victory in the race with a time of 3:33.93 to add the Diamond Trophy to his medals cabinet.
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