Athletics

Kipyegon headlines stellar cast of Kenyans at Monaco Diamond League

Faith Kipyegon celebrates after winning the women's 1500m race in Eugene
  • Faith Kipyegon will make an attempt at lowering the World Record
  • She set her personal best in Monaco
  • Wycliffe Kinyamal, Jaco Krop among Kenyan stars expected in Monaco

After the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, a stellar Kenyan cast will line up in the French principality luxury city of Monaco on Wednesday night as the Diamond League continues.

The highlight of Wednesday night’s races in the Kenyan perspective is double World and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon who will be looking to lower her Personal Best and a possible assault at the 1500m World Record.

Kipyegon returns to a familiar hunting ground in Monaco, the venue of her best ever 1500m time. Last year, she ran 3:51.07 in Monaco, which has remained her personal best time till now. Monaco was also where Genzebe Dibaba ran a 3:50.07 World Record in July 2015.

“I hope I can have a shot at it (World Record) in Monaco because it is a fast track. I am looking forward to run there for a second time and hopefully, I can see if I can go lower the time,” Kipyegon said in a past interview.

Competes in confidence after Worlds

Hayward Field

Women’s 1500 Metres – Final – Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, U.S. – July 18, 2022 Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon crosses the line to win the women’s 1500 metres final REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

She travels to Monaco with beaming confidence after securing a second world title. She specifically chose not to compete at the Commonwealth Games to preserve her energy for a stab at lowering a whole second from her PB and earn a new record.

On the field, Kipyegon will come up against Uganda’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion Winnie Nanyondo and Australia’s Jessica Hull.

Another race that will be keenly watched is the bout between two World Champions; Jake Wightman (1500m) and Emmanuel Korir (800m). The two will meet halfway and have been listed for the 1000m race.

Wightman went on to win bronze at the Commonwealth Games while Korir was disqualified from the Heats of the 400m despite winning for lane infringement. He quickly moved to Silesia, where he clinched the 800m title and says he expects a different challenge with the 1000m.

First time in the race 

Emmanuel Korir

Emmanuel Korir celebrates after winning gold in the men’s 800m

“This is going to be the very first time that I am running this distance and I honestly don’t know what to expect. But it will be tough because that extra 200m from what I am used to at 800m will be a challenge but I will give it a fight and see,” he said.

Korir added; “Jake (Wightman) has the advantage because he runs the 1500m and this might be easier for him.”

Wightman meanwhile says he is excited ahead of the match-up, but is cautious of Korir’s speed. “That extra 200 is a bit tricky for both to be honest. They have the speed, we have the endurance so it will be up to anyone. I do the 1000 a lit in training and so it is a familiar distance.”

They will be joined in the race by newly crowned Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, who competes barely three days after a mustered run in Birmingham.

Kinyamal will be the less fresher of the field especially with travel included, but will look to put out a good performance. Ferguson Rotich will be the other Kenyan in the race while Canadian Marco Arop, a 1500m specialist will also be one to watch.

At the same time, Jacob Krop, fresh from a bronze at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the World Championships will lead the Kenyan cast for the shorter 3,000m chase. In company he has Daniel Simiu, with whom he teamed up at both the Worlds and Commonwealth Games as well Bethwell Birgen, Cornelius Kemboi and Nicholas Kipkorir.

IN the women’s steeplechase, recently crowned steeplechase Commonwealth Games champion Jackline Chepkoech will be back in competition and hopes to rake in another victory.

On a fast Monaco track, Chepkoech is also looking to lower her personal best.

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