Kipruto, El-Bakkali clash headlines Rabat Diamond League
What you need to know:
- Kipruto, who will be featuring in his first Diamond League leg will be looking to better his performance ahead of the World Championships slated for July 15-24 in Eugene, USA
- Kipruto has a personal best of 8:00.12 while Bakkali has the fastest time in the field of 7:58.15 followed by Ethiopia’s Lamech Girma (7:58.68) who is also the world silver medalist
- Another race to watch will be the 800m race where the Olympic champion in the distance Emmanuel Korir who has a personal best of 1:42.05 will be launching his season
It will be a battle of titans when world champion Conseslus Kipruto and Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali clash during the 3,000m steeplechase race at Rabat Diamond League in Morocco on Sunday.
Kipruto, who will be featuring in his first Diamond League leg will be looking to better his performance ahead of the World Championships slated for July 15-24 in Eugene, USA.
Kipruto has a personal best of 8:00.12 while Bakkali has the fastest time in the field of 7:58.15 followed by Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma (7:58.68) who is also the world silver medalist having lost narrowly to Kipruto during the 2019 Doha edition.
Girma currently has the world leading time this year after winning the Ostrava Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour in Czech Republic.
Coming back from a nagging injury, Kipruto competed during the Athletics Kenya Track and Field championships where he emerged fifth after clocking 8:32.24 before emerging in the same position during the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi last month.
Other Kenyans in the list include Commonwealth Games silver medalist in the distance Abraham Kibiwott (8:05.72), Olympic bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen (8:05.12) and Wilberforce Kones (8:21.42).
Kibiwott will be using the race to gauge his performance ahead of the Africa Senior Championships slated for June 8-12 in Mauritius after winning during the Kenyan trials in April.
“The race is good preparation for the Africa Senior Championships in Mauritius where I will be eyeing a place in the podium,” said Kibiwott.
Another race to watch is the men's 800m race where the Olympic champion in the distance Emmanuel Korir who has a personal best of 1:42.05 will be launching his season. He will come up against Olympics 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).
Mary Moraa (1:59.25), Naomi Korir and Jarinter Mawia (1:59.84) will feature in the women's 800m race alongside Prudence Sekgodiso (1:58.41) from South Africa, Italy’s Elena Bello (2:00.39) among other top athletes.
Abel Kipsang will be Kenya's sole representative in the 1,500m where he will take on the likes of France’s Azeddine Habz (3:31.74), Spain’s Mohamed Katir (3:28.76), Great Britain’s Jake Heyward (3:32.82) among others.
Kipsang will be eyeing good performance after emerging fourth in the one mile race during the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon behind world champion Timothy Cheruiyot.
In his first race in the Diamond League Series, Kipsang won the Doha leg before following it up with victory in Birmingham.
In the 1,500m women’s race, Edinah Jebitok will be the sole representative and she will compete 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.