Rudisha, Birech, Sum seek redemption in Birmingham


Conseslus Kipruto at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome (Gladys Chai) © Copyright
Conseslus Kipruto at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome (Gladys Chai) © Copyright

Rome re-matches will dominate Sunday’s sixth IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham that has attracted 61 medallists from last year’s World Championships in Beijing taking part.

The men 3000m steeplechase will be one of the top bill re-match as Beijing silver winner, Conseslus Kipruto aims to make it four out of four against last season’s Diamond Race winner, Jairus Birech.

Birech will be looking for a little bit of redemption after his world record bid in Rome and doing one over his compatriot unravelled when fell at a barrier during the final lap.

It made the victory an easy one for Kipruto, although the latter is unbeaten this year in three outings over the barriers and has run three successive world-leading times.

Having taken a break in Rome three-time world men 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop returns in Birmingham seeking a third straight triumph and will be the man to beat in the 1500m.

However, Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider, who gave Kiprop a slight scare in last weekend’s Bowerman Mile in Eugene, could be a threat to the Kenyan.

Last year’s 10,000m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot could have the edge in the women’s 5000m, with both Mercy Cherono and Janet Kisa having Thursday’s race in Rome still in their legs.

Cherono, however, clocked a personal best of 14:33.95 in the Italian capital and could have Almaz Ayana’s almost world record-breaking performance from there as a motivating force.

Another seeking deliverance after slumping to tenth in Rome is Moscow world women 800m champion, Eunice Sum who will compete in a race where champion Marina Arzamasova (Belarus) will be joined by world indoor champion Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) and Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp.

Sum appeared to be in fine form with the Kenyan’s first two Diamond League appearances in Doha and Rabat yielding two consecutive season’s bests for the 2015 world bronze-medallist before the Rome burn out.

Ahead of Sum at Rabat’s meeting was Burundian Niyonsaba, with the current world indoor champion aiming to repeat the feat in Birmingham to take maximum Diamond Race points.

Two non-Diamond Race disciplines with huge interest will be the men’s 3000m where Mo Farah is looking to continue where he left off after running a world-leading time in the 10,000m in Eugene.

World and Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha is moving down in distance to contest the 600m where he is returning to action after his stunning defeat by compatriot Ferguson Rotich in the second leg in Shaghai.

“I’m really excited to be racing here in Birmingham for a second time. The 600m is more like a 400m than 800m – I really want to see how well I can do tomorrow. Training has been going well so I want to see how much I can push it,” Rudisha posted on his Facebook wall.

-Material from IAAF (iaaf.org) used to compile this report.

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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