Kenyan cast expected to light up Rabat Diamond League

Abel Kipsang of Kenya

Kenya's Abel Kipsang (R) leads the pack during the men's 1500m event during the IAAF Diamond League athletics Doha meeting at the Khalifa International stadium in the Qatar capital on May 13, 2022. Karim Jaafar | AFP

Photo credit: Karim Jaafar | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Abel Kipsang will be Kenya's sole representative in the 1,500m race
  • Former Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono (8:51.69) will compete in the 3,000m race alongside her compatriot the World Under-20 3,000m champion Teresiah Muthoni (8:19.08)
  • In the 3,000m steeplechase men’s race, world champion Conseslus Kipruto (8:00.12) will renew rivalry with Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali (7:58.15) who will be looking to shine at home

Kenyan athletes will feature in various races at Rabat Diamond League in Morocco on Sunday.

The 800m men’s race has attracted five athletes who will be seeking to register good results as part of their preparations for World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic champion in the distance, Emmanuel Korir who has a personal best of 1:42.05 will be launching his season in the race and will be competing against the Olympic silver medalist Ferguson Rotich (1:42.54), World Under-20 champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi (1:43.76), US-based Michael Saruni (1:43.25) and Collins Kipruto (1:43.95).

It will also be interesting to watch the fast-rising Wanyonyi battling it out with his seniors as he continues his learning curve in the distance. Wanyonyi bagged victory during the Ostrava Golden Spike a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour in Czech Republic.

Wanyonyi ran from behind the leading pack before surging forward in the last 100 metres to cross the line in 1:44.15 ahead of Algeria’s Silmane Moula who timed 1:44.19 while Max Burgin from Great Britain came in third after clocking 1:44.54.

He will be making his Diamond League debut in Morocco event and wants to run a good race as he sets his eyes on the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“My training has been good and I’m happy my progress in the two-lap race is going on well. My target in the international races is to learn as I continue to prepare for World Championships and Commonwealth Games trials,” said Wanyonyi.

The Kenyans will be competing against Botswana’s Amos Nijel (1:41.73), Morocco’s Abdelati El Guesse (1:44.84) and France’s Gabriel Tual (1:44.28) among others.

Abel Kipsang will be Kenya's sole representative in the 1,500m where he will be competing with the likes of France’s Azeddine Habz (3:31.74), Spain’s Mohamed Katir (3:28.76) and Great Britain’s Jake Heyward (3:32.82) among others.

Kipsang will be eyeing good performance after emerging fourth during the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon.

In his first race in the Diamond League Series, Kipsang won the Doha leg before following it up with victory in the Birmingham leg.

In the 1,500m women’s race, Edinah Jebitok will be the sole representative and she will be competing against Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo (3:59.56), Ethiopians Tigist Ketema (4:00.91), Freweyni Hailu (3:56.28), Habitam Alemu (4:01.41) and Hirut Meshesha (3:59.43) among others.

Former Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono (8:51.69) will compete in the 3,000m race alongside her compatriot the World Under-20 3,000m champion Teresiah Muthoni (8:19.08).

The two will face stiff competition from Burundi’s Francine Niyonsoba (8:19.08) who bagged victory during the Doha leg beating Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon.

Mary Moraa (1:59.25), Naomi Korir and Jarinter Mawia (1:59.84) will feature in the 800m race alongside Prudence Sekgodiso (1:58.41) from South Africa, Italy’s Elena Bello (2:00.39) among other top athletes.

In the 3,000m steeplechase men’s race, world champion Conseslus Kipruto (8:00.12) will renew rivalry with Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali (7:58.15) who will be looking to shine at home.

Other Kenyans in the list include Commonwealth Games silver medalist in the distance Abraham Kibiwott (8:05.72), Olympics bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen (8:05.12) and Wilberforce Kones (8:21.42).

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