What you need to know:
- The 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech also hopes for good fortunes as she solidifies her return from an injury in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Italian Golden Gala
- American Fred Kerley has managed to stamp his authority, winning the world title and on to Rabat where he was at his usual superb form, outclassing the 100m field to win in 9.94 seconds, albeit slower than expected
- What is more interesting is that after his Rabat victory, Kerley, who isn’t associated with showbiz, seemingly mocked Omanyala, who had earlier stated that he won’t lose any 100m race this season
Commonwealth Games 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala and Olympic and world 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich will be in focus as they take the battle to their fierce rivals at the Florence Diamond League on Friday.
The 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech also hopes for good fortunes as she solidifies her return from an injury in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Italian Golden Gala. It will be her third race this season after winning the Kip Keino Classic last month..
“When your training mates are going on with the programme while you are just sleeping at home due to injury is something I don’t want to experience again. It really affected me psychologically but I’m happy I managed to come back after more than one year,” said Chepkoech.
“I want to thank my family and my support team who include physiotherapists for taking good care of me and the support they offered during this period. I felt alone in the process but I’m glad I can compete well now though I haven’t trained well 100 percent,” she added.
Kenya’s world 5,000m silver medallist Jacob Krop and Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medallist Nicholas Kimeli confront Uganda’s world record holder in 10,000m and 5,000m Joshua Cheptegei in the 5,000m contest.
The men’s 100m is basically a rematch depending on how someone looks at it either from last year’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon or last Sunday’s Rabat Diamond League.
American Fred Kerley has managed to stamp his authority, winning the world title and on to Rabat where he was at his usual superb form, outclassing the 100m field to win in 9.94 seconds, albeit slower than expected.
Former Africa 100m champion and record holder Akani Simbine from South Africa dipped for second in 9.99 as Omanyala, the reigning Africa champion and record holder, settled third in 10.05.
World under-20 champion Letsile Tebogo timed season’s best 10.09 for fourth followed by world bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell in 10.10 and Jamaican Yohan Blake 10.18.
All the aforementioned will line up in Florence save for Tebogo and what makes it juicier is that the world silver medallist Marvin Bracy-Williams will be in the mix.
Kerley (gold), Bracy (silver) and Bromell (bronze), who completed a USA sweep in Oregon then Omanyala and Blake, the two-time Olympic and world champion, makes it a sumptuous, stellar line up.
What is more interesting is that after his Rabat victory, Kerley, who isn’t associated with showbiz, seemingly mocked Omanyala, who had earlier stated that he won’t lose any 100m race this season.
Omanyala had won two World Athletics Continental Gold Tour races at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix and Kip Keino Classic, Nairobi where he set a world lead of 9.84.
Kerley left a cryptic post in reference to Michael Jordan's famous line on his twitter handle…“And I took it personally.”
Many fans online were sure it was directed at Omanyala.
The 28-year-old Kerley further said in an interview on why he crossed the line first in Rabat that: “There is no one like me. I am different. Simple!”
Omanyala has promised to bounce back after the Rabat defeat.
“Confidence looks like arrogance to people who don't believe in themselves. We shall rise again,” said Omanyala on his social platform status. “Thank you Rabat for the memories, see you in Florence!’
Omanyala still tops the performance list for this year with his 9.84 Kip Keino Classic performance, just ahead of Kerley’s 9.88 at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama.
As she steps to the starting line, Chepng’etich, who won in Doha in 3:58.57 on May 5, will be eager to atone for the 2021 loss to Sifan Hassan.
Chepng’etich will have British Olympic silver medallist and front-runner Laura Muir to contend in the metric mile race.
Chepkoech, the 2018 world champion, takes on a strong force that includes Ethiopia’s world bronze medallist Mekides Abebe, 2017 world champion Emma Coburn of USA, and former World Under-20 and Commonwealth champion Jackline Chepkoech of Kenya and Fancy Cherono.
“My style of running has been from the front, I tried during the Kip Keino Classic event and it worked well. I will be trying to implement the same during the race in Florence. This is part of my preparations for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where I will be looking forward to reclaiming my title,” said Beatrice.
It will be the first time Krop and Kimeli will be competing on outdoor track since the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August.
Cheptegei, the world 10,000m and Olympic 5,000m champion, will also be competing on track for the first time since his triumph in Oregon.
An all-star Ethiopian quartet of Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega, 2021 Diamond League champion Berihu Aregawi, Yomif Kejelcha and Samuel Tefera are also in the mix.