What you need to know:
- Besides Keter and Kipsang, Ronald Kwemoi, the World Under-20 1,500m world record holder, and Boaz Kiprugut are the other Kenyans in the race.
- Lemi Teddese, who failed to go past the semi-finals in 1,500m at Tokyo Olympics, World Under-20 1,500m silver medallist Wegene Addisu and Berhane Aregawi will lead Ethiopia’s quest.
Kenya’s Mary Moraa is out to stop World 800m champion Halima Nakaayi of Uganda during the Absa Kip Keino Classic at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday.
Elsewhere, World Under-20 1,500m champion Vincent Keter is out to emulate his mentor and training mate, Olympic 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot.
“I participated in my first Diamond League in Brussels some days ago finishing eighth, but that was inspiring enough to take on top guns,” said Moraa, who finished second in the 400m at last year’s Kip Keino Classic.
Moraa, the African Games 400m silver medallist, made her debut in the two-lap race at the Tokyo Olympic Games where she failed to go past the semi-finals.
“I am slowly learning the ropes and soon Kenya will be having a replacement for the likes of Janeth Jepkosgei, Pamela Jelimo and Eunice Sum,” explained Moraa, who has a personal best of 1:59.25.
Besides Naakayi, Moraa will also face American Chanelle Price, the 2014 World Indoor 800m champion, who has personal best of 1:58.73, the 2019 African American Games 800m bronze medallist, Déborah Rodríguez from Uruguay and Ethiopian 400m champion Worknesh Mesele.
Other Kenyans in the race are World relays 2x2x400m silver medallist Naomi Korir and Eglay Nalianya.
Besides his dream of an Olympic and World title, Keter also wants to break the 1,500m world record of 3:26.00 held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco.
Keter said he will be under no pressure to retain the title Cheruiyot won last year even as he prepares to take on Tokyo Olympics 1,500m fourth place finisher Abel Kipsang and Charles Simotwo, who fell in the semis at the Tokyo Games.
“I believe I have what it takes to win at home,” said the 19-year-old, who had accompanied Moraa at the Absa Kip Keino Classic launch at Ole Sereni Hotel Monday.
Besides Keter and Kipsang, Ronald Kwemoi, the World Under-20 1,500m world record holder, and Boaz Kiprugut are the other Kenyans in the race.
Lemi Teddese, who failed to go past the semi-finals in 1,500m at Tokyo Olympics, World Under-20 1,500m silver medallist Wegene Addisu and Berhane Aregawi will lead Ethiopia’s quest.