World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech is set to face off world champion Emma Coburn in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF diamond league series in Oslo, Norway on Thursday (13).
Chepkoech currently leading in the standing with eight points following her exploits in Shanghai on 18th May, where she set a world leading and meeting record time 9:04.53 to win the race, she will lead seven other Kenyan’s in the race.
Other Kenyans are Fancy Cherono with a best time of (9:31.00) this year, Celliphine Chespol (9:11.10) Daisy Jepkemei (9:15.03) Norah Jeruto (9:12.99) Hyvin Kiyeng (9:00.01) and Caroline Tuigong (9:36.36).
Only three Kenyan’s will be taking part in the 3000m Men event, Paul Tanui, Davis Kiplagat and Cornelius Kangogo with stiff competition expected from double commonwealth champion Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopia’s, Edris Muktar and his compatriot Milkesa Mengesha.
From Oslo the diamond league moves to Rabat Morocco on 16th June, before Kenyan athletes return home for the All Africa Games Qualifiers at the Nyayo national stadium to be held between the 20th – 22nd of June.
Coburn won gold at the 2017 World Championships with a championship record of 9:02.58 which stood to be North America’s record until last year when her teammate Courtney Frenchs broke it and set the new time to 9:00.85.
27-year old Hyvin Kiyeng who scooped the gold medal in 2015 Beijing, 3000m steeplechase and doubled it with Bronze in the 2017 championships in London, will be also in the quest for the Oslo race.
Kiyeng set her personal best (PB) of 9:00.01 at the 2016 Prefontaine classic in Eugene, USA.
Chepsol Celliphine Chespol who finished second in the Shanghai series will battle out alongside counterparts Fancy Cherono, Daisy Chepkemei, and Caroline Tuigong.
Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai who bagged the silver medal in last years’ world Un20 championships and now bragging of her personal best of 9:07.94 will be the only Ugandan entrant.
Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi who was the second runners up in the 3000m steeplechase in the world un20 championships held in Tampere, Finland will also entrant alongside German international Gesa Felicitas Krause who scooped the third position in the world championships in Beijing after clocking 9:19.25.
-Report by Philip Muchiri and Stephen Kiprop