What you need to know:
- Chepkoech, who finished fourth in the Doha and Florence Diamond League races, hopes to break the 9-minute mark for the first time in nearly a year.
- Chepkoech, the 2019 world 3,000m steeplechase champion, took Kipyegon and previous record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia through 3,000m in 8:31.91 before, Kipyegon, smashed the 5,000m world record in a new time of 14:05.20.
Commonwealth Games 800 metres champion Mary Moraa and 3,000m world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech are the only Kenyans who will be competing in Friday's Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland.
Moraa, the world 800m bronze medallist, heads to the Swiss city fresh from winning the national 800m title on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium in one minute and 59.85 seconds.
Moraa returns to the Diamond League Series seeking her second win after she retained her title in Rabat in season’s best 1:58.72 on May 28.
The Kenyan champion opened her outdoor season at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour event, winning the 400m in a national record time of 50.44 seconds.
Moraa then won Kip Keino Classic, another World Athletics Continental Gold Tour, on May 13 before going on to win in Rabat.
In Lausanne, Moraa will renew her rivalry with Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who is the world 800m silver medallist and Commonwealth Games 800m bronze medallist.
Moraa skipped the Paris Diamond League on June 9, where Hodgkinson dashed to victory in a personal best and world lead time of 1:55.77. The duo met at the World Championships in Oregon and Birmingham Commonwealth Games last year where they outwitted each other.
The two haven’t raced since the world indoors in Torun where Hodgkinson exacted revenge for her Commonwealth Games defeat to the fast-rising Moraa, who has a personal best of 1:56.71.
“You will always expect fast times when quality athletes meet hence Lausanne won’t be an exception, “said Moraa before leaving the country on Tuesday night to Lausanne.
“I am aware of Hodgkinson’s world lead time and that the Olympic and world champion Athing Mu is back, but my target of running sub-1:56 minutes this season is still on,” explained Moraa.
Besides Moraa and Hodgkinson, the two-lap race has attracted Ethiopian Habitam Alemu (1:56.71), who won the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, Jamaican Natoya Goule (1:56.15) and Jemma Reekie (1:56.90).
After pacing double Olympic and world 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon to the 5000m world record in Paris, Chepkoech hopes for her first Diamond League victory since Zurich on August 29, 2019.
Chepkoech, who finished fourth in the Doha and Florence Diamond League races, hopes to break the 9-minute mark for the first time in nearly a year.
Chepkoech, the 2019 world 3,000m steeplechase champion, took Kipyegon and previous record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia through 3,000m in 8:31.91 before, Kipyegon, smashed the 5,000m world record in a new time of 14:05.20.
Kipyegon had a week earlier also set a new world record in 1,500m in Florence winning in 3:49.11.