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Kenyan Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon launch London
Worlds bid at Shanghai Diamond League

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon of Kenya wants to atone her poor show at the World Cross Country Championships by clinching gold at the London World Championships in August.

Kipyegon, who excelled in cross country as a junior athlete, was sixth at the Kampala World Cross Country event, in which Kenya swept the top six positions, as she lost out to long distance rivals.

But as she returns to her specialty on the track she believes she has the strength to secure her second gold in as many years in London.

However, in a bid to prepare herself for the challenge, Kipyegon is focusing on proving her worth in the Diamond League as she launches her track season in Shanghai, China on May 13.

“In Kampala, I was not very sharp and it is the right result for me, it was a team work issue. But going forward, it is what you bring to the race that matters and I believe, I will have my chance starting in Shanghai to let my legs do the talking,” she said.

In Rio Kipyegon clocked 4 minutes 8.92sec after her burst over the last 250 metres to beat world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, who took silver in 4:10.27 while American Jennifer Simpson claimed bronze in 4:10.53.

In Shanghai, however, the caliber of the opposition will be different as she comes up against Ethiopia’s Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana.

The Ethiopian smashed the Shanghai meeting’s 5000m record two years ago when she clocked the third fastest time ever.

There will also be steeplechaser Ruth Jebet, who lowered the Asian and Bahraini record to place second in Shanghai in 2016.

Ayana went on to take the world 5000m title in Beijing and last summer added Olympic 10,000m gold when she smashed the world record in Rio, while Jebet bettered her Shanghai performance three times over four months last summer as she claimed Olympic gold in Brazil and took the world record in Paris.

Meanwhile, the IAAF Diamond League, which gets underway in Doha on May 5, has a new money structure for the winners.

In its biggest restructure since the series began in 2010, this year’s IAAF Diamond League will adopt a championship-style model whereby athletes earn points at the first 12 meetings to qualify for the two finals.

In previous seasons, athletes accumulated points throughout the IAAF Diamond League season with the overall winner of each of the 32 events being the athlete with the most points, irrespective of whether they won the final.

This year, the winners of each discipline in the finals will be crowned as IAAF Diamond League champions, earning a 50,000 U.S. dollars bonus and the Diamond Trophy.

The scoring system has also changed for 2017. Whereas previously only the top six finishers in each event earned points, the top eight will now be rewarded.

Eight points will go to the winner, seven points to second place and so on, with one point going to the athlete in eighth place.

Each discipline will be staged six or four times before the finals. At the end of the 12 qualification meetings, the top seven, eight or 12 athletes (depending on the discipline) will be invited to compete in the final.



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