Athletics focus shifts to Lausanne Diamond League
- Lausanne is the 11th stop of this season’s Diamond League
- Kenyans will be up in action in several races
- After Lausanne action shifts to Brussels, Belgium
Several Kenyan athletes will be in action on Friday as the Diamond League season heads into its home stretch, with Lausanne, Switzerland hosting the second last regular stage before the season ender in Zurich.
Among the biggest races in contention with the Kenyan perspective is the men’s 1500m where the duo of Abel Kipsang and Timothy Cheruiyot will be contesting.
Kipsang is the Diamond League leaders in the 1500m race this season and he will be out to extend his fine run as well as retain his leadership ahead of the final in Zurich. He has had a mixed season, performing well in the Diamond League but not translating that to Championships.
He finished fourth at the Olympic Games while he also missed out on a medal at the Commonwealth and World Championships.
The world indoor bronze medalist, started the season well winning the Kenyan Championships, Kip Keino Classic, Diamond League races in Doha and Birmingham, won the African title and was fourth at the Prefontaine Classic.
Running Championships always tough
“Running Championships is always very tricky and it is something that we have worked hard to try and improve. Competition there is so high because everyone comes in with good time and whoever is luckiest on the day wins. We will try again next season and see how things go,” said Kipsang’s coach Alex Sang.
Meanwhile, Cheruiyot who was narrowly beaten to gold by Australian Oliver Hoare in Birmingham, will look to win his first race of the season. This will be his third appearance in the Diamond League, having finished second in Doha and third at the Prefontaine Classic.
At the same time, Kenya will be ably represented in the women’s 3,000m when both Beatrice Chebet and Margaret Chelimo drop down their traditional distances.
Chebet comes into the race off some very successful events, having won the African title, earned silver at the World Championships and clinched the Commonwealth Games title in the 5,000m. This will be her third Diamond League race, having finished 16th in Doha and second at the Prefontaine Classic.
Chelimo runs her first Diamond League
Meanwhile, 10,000m world bronze medalist Chelimo will be on a Diamond League race for the first time, having only raced at the HBK Games in Hengelo, a World Athletics Continental Gold Label Tour, where she finished fourth in the 10,000m.
Among those to watch in the race will be Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan who has however struggled this season.
In the men’s steeplechase, Kenya will be represented by recently crowned Commonwealth champion Abraham Kibiwott, 2021 World Under-20 Champion Amos Serem and Leonard Bett.
It will not be an easy duel as Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, the man who has stripped Kenya of both the Olympic and World titles, will also be in the race.
While these will be the Kenyan races to watch in the Kenyan perspective, the 100m women’s clash between the Jamaican trio of world champion Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The trio clinched the top three slots at the World Championships and this will be the first time they will be coming together, Jackson and Thompson-Herah looking to upstage the veteran Fraser-Pryce.