By COPPERFIELD LAGAT
Olympic Games 800 metres bronze medallist Timothy Kitum and World Relays sensation Ferguson Rotich will lead a quality field of Kenyan athletes against some of the world’s fastest runners at the Rome Diamond League meeting on Thursday.
The Rome Diamond league meeting has assembled two Olympic medallists in the men’s 800m race even as reigning champion David Rudisha stays out of track owing an injury. It will be a wait and see situation as Kitum, mentored by world record holder David Rudisha, leads Bahamas world’s contestants Rotich and Job Kinyor against Botswana’s Nijel Amos, the Olympic Games silver medallist, over the two-lap race.
Amos beat Rudisha to win a Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow in August last year, becoming the second time the 2012 World Junior champion beat the world record holder. Kitum will also be keen to bounce back after he was disqualified in Bahamas for incorrect exchange of the baton.
Kinyor and Rotich contributed to Kenya’s gold medal at the 2015 World Relays 4x800m race and Rome’s meeting will be the litmus test.
Poland’s Lewandowsky Marcin will also line up against the Kenyans, captained by Kitum. Marcin spends part of his training sessions in Nandi County’s high altitude camps.
In the women’s 3000 metres steeplechase, 2010 Olympic Youth 2000 metres steeplechase winner Virginia Nyambura will be aiming for a second senior gold after the Doha league premiere victory.
The soft-spoken Nyambura, who reckons she has matured after two years of pacing in steeplechase, leads 2012 World Junior Championships 3000m steeplechase gold medallist Daisy Jepkemei, Hyvin Kiyieny, Lydia Jepkirui, Purity Kirui and little-known Ann Gathoni in the water and barriers race.
Nyambura is assigned with the responsibility of has to repeat the Roman victory realised by World Steeplechase champion Milcah Chemos, who is nursing an injury. Chemos won in Rome in 2011 and 2013.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke