Oslo next stop for Diamond League action


Margaret Nyairera competes in 4X2000m relay race at the National Cross Country Championships at ...
Margaret Nyairera competes in 4X2000m relay race at the National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi, Kenya on February 18, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

The fifth leg of the IAAF Diamond League meeting heads to Oslo this Thursday with a galaxy of Kenyan stars out to impress as the IAAF World Athletics Championships draw closer.

Rio Olympics 800m bronze medalist Margaret Nyairera, World 1,500m silver medalist Elijah Manangoi and Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase champion Purity Kirui will be out to set faster times at the Norwegian capital.

Nyairera will for the third time this season give two-time Olympics and two-time World Champion Caster Semenya of South Africa a run for her money ahead of the big showdown at the World Championships in London in August 4th –  13th.

Semenya will not be Nyairera’s only worry; she will be on the look out for Rio silver medalist Francine Niyoisaba of Burundi and Moscow World Champion Eunice Sum as well as Beijing World silver medalist Melisa Bishop of Canada.

Last week during the National Championships, Nyairera had a discouraging performance of 2:00.05 and will be looking to lower her season best of 1:57.03 to a 1:55 in three days. Nyareira is determined not to have a repeat of 2015 World Championships where she made an early exit in the heats.  Her compatriot Sum will be looking to shed off about two seconds from her season best of 1:58.76.

Beijing World Silver medalist Elijah Manangoi will team up with 2011 Daegu World silver medalist Silas Kiplagat and former World Junior Champion Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich against Moroccan Abdelaati Iguider, the London Olympics bronze medalists and 2015 Beijing world championships bronze medalist in the 1,500m men’s event.

At the start of the Diamond League Season in Doha, Manangoi set a world leading time of 3:31.90 ahead of Kiplagat who stopped the timer at 3:32.23 for second place.

During the 1 Mile Men Bowerman Mile in Eugene, Manangoi set a personal best (PB) of 3:49.04 just behind the Commonwealth silver medalist Ronald Kwemoi who over powered him at the homestretch to cut the tape first. Iguider (3:52.77) and Kiplagat (3:57.59) settled for sixth and 12th places.

2013 Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion Purity Kirui will lead Joan Kipkemoi also the Commonwealth bronze medalist, former World Junior Champion Daisy Jepkemei and Africa Champion Norah Jeruto in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase event.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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