Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Faith Chepng’etich and World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono will be out to spoil the party for Ethiopian duo Almaz Ayana and Genzebe Dibaba who are eyeing fast times at the Paris Diamond League meeting today.
It will be the second event for Chepng’etich, who has shaken off an ankle injury that locked her out of the World Cross Country Championships while Cherono will be making her debut in the circuit after starting late her training. Both Kenyans are eyeing to be in top shape by the end of the month ahead of the National trials to select the team to compete at the World Championships in Beijing, where the real battle against the Ethiopians is expected. Also making the 5,000m team in Paris is Betsy Saina, Viola Jelegat and Irene Jelegat, who has been drafted in as a pace setter to help the two Ethiopians set a fast time. Ayana, the younger of the two Ethiopians, declared several weeks ago that she will be making an attempt on the World record of compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba. Ayana has known she’s capable of it since her victory in the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, on May 17, where she posted a fast time of 14:14.32, the top performance in the world this year.
However, Genzebe Dibaba, nine months older and leading the IAAF Diamond League ranking, was victorious in Eugene in a time of 14:19.76 and has now decided to join her compatriot. She is eager to take up a slot in the race, at the Stade de France, and share the pace of the event with Almaz Ayana. Both women have already come close to breaking the 5000m world record in recent weeks, but at the Meeting Areva Ayana and Dibaba will face each other for the first time this year in a bid to run faster than 14:11.15. The world record has stood to Dibaba’s older sister Tirunesh since 2008, but it came under threat in Shanghai earlier this year when Ayana clocked a world-leading 14:14.32. Genzebe Dibaba triumphed over 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene at the end of May in an outdoor PB of 14:19.76.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke