By James Magayi @Magayijim
World metric mile champion Asbel Kiprop will be hunting his first win in the 2015 IAAF Diamond League in Oslo this evening. The lanky policeman came short in his last attempt but he is confident of prevailing over a strong opposition consisting of top athletes who are his compatriots and some from neighbouring rivals Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Kiprop will contend with local rival Silas Kiplagat and upcoming youngster Ronald Kwemoi as well as Djibouti’s Ayanleh Suleiman and Aman Wote of Ethiopia. He said his season has progressed well and is hoping for a first win this season.
“If you look at my performances this year there is an upward curve which shows good progression. I’ve worked on my endurance and speed work and I hope from Oslo I’ll start winning my races,” he said.
America-based Carvin Nkanata is also in the fray for a 200m race that is devoid of the usual big names from Jamaica and USA. The 3,000m men steeplechase race pitting theatrical multiple world and Olympic gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi and an array of other Kenyans is expected to light up the chilly Norwegian capital.
Last year’s top ranked steeplechaser Jairus Birech and 2013 sensation Consenslus Kipruto are Kembois’ main threats in a race that also has Kipsiele Koech. Kemboi prevailed over this cast with his trademark outer lane finish in Oregon, USA.
World Cross Country Champion Agnes Jebet and red hot Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba highlight the women’s 5,000m race which also has veteran Viola Kibiwot, Irene Cheptai and Magdalene Masai.
Dibaba stormed to victory in Eugene and hopes to extend her fine form over the Kenyans. A duel with Jebet will surely make for a spectacular watch as Jebet also seeks her first Diamond League victory.
Jebet said “A lot is expected from me after winning the world cross country and I have to try my best to live up to that expectation. 5,000m race is very ough and has good runners both from Kenya and Ethiopia so it is going to be a hard one but God willing I will prevail”.
The 19-year-old hopes to break Dibaba’s dominance over the distance but admits it is a tall order. “Right now I’d say Dibaba is on form and it will be very difficult to beat her but I want to do my best and win the race. There are other Kenyans who are equally capable of winning so competition is not only with Dibaba but everyone in the track,” she added.
Courtesy of mediamaxnetwork.co.ke