What you need to know:
- Zakayo, first-rising Kigen, Korir other Kenyan big names lined up to race
- Reigning African champ set to compete in his first Diamond League this season in Rabat
Africa champion and national high jump record holder Mathew Sawe takes his World Championships preparations to Rabat Diamond League on Sunday at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in the Moroccan capital.
Sawe, the two-time Africa champion, who is based in France, has so far competed in four events this season in France and Sweden but Rabat will be his first Diamond League outing this season.
Sawe’s best show so far is from his season’s opener at Meeting de l’Eure, Val-de-Reuil on February 1 where he finished second with a leap of 2.24 metres.
He would four days later scale 2.16m for a third-place finish at Folksam GP, Stockholm, Sweden.
Sawe, who turns 31 on July 2, then won two French Club Championships in Cergy-Pontoise and Villeneuve d’Ascq scaling 2.20m and 2.10m May 1 and May 19 respectively.
Sawe now wants to better his personal best and national record distance of 2.30m with 2.35m at Rabat or before the World Championships planned from September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.
Sawe has leady qualified for the World Championships by virtue of having retained his Africa title in Assaba on August 3, last year besides hitting the qualifying mark of 2.30m.
Sawe retained his Africa high jump title with a 2.30m jump, which equalled his national record he had set earlier on June 6, the same year when he won the Kenya Defence Forces Championships.
“I have been picking up well and I think after Rabat, I will come back home before competing in several events including Paris Diamond League in August ahead of the Doha World Championships,” said Sawe.
Sawe said he will decide later either to take part at Paris Diamond League due August on 24 or participate in the Africa Games due from August 23 to September 3 at the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
Sawe finished fourth during the 2015 African Games held in Brazzaville, Congo.
Also in action in Rabat tomorrow will be the 2018 Diamond League 800m series winner Emmanuel Korir, World Under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo and Continental Cup and Africa 800m champion Winny Chebet.
Kenya’s fast-rising Benjamin Kigen, who is fresh from winning in Rome personal best and World Lead of 8:06.13 takes on home athlete Soufiane El Bakkali, who won in Doha in 8:07.22. Korir will face-off with Africa 800m champion Nijel Amos from Botswana.
Amos won the opening event in Doha in a world lead time of 1:44.29, beating Korir to second place but the athlete from Botswana settled for second in Rome, losing the battle to Donavan Brazier, who cruised to a world lead time of 1:43.63.
Zakayo, the Africa Under-20 5,000m champion, is the second fastest athlete this season in the 5,000m race, having posted personal best 13:03.19 in finishing seventh in Rome.