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Kenya’s Kipruto set to rock Prefontaine Classic, eyes world record   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya will make his first World record attempt at the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon in USA on May 26.

This will be Kipruto’s second stop in the 14-tier Diamond League. His first race post his victory at the Commonwealth Games will be on May 4 in Doha, Qatar.

Kipruto told Xinhua on Tuesday from Eldoret, “The training is going on well after the Commonwealth Games. My target this season is to try and set a world record in the steeplechase because there are no major competitions coming up.

“But the season is just starting and Doha will be my first stop. It will not be the best place to run a world record, but I will push for fast time. In the Prefontaine Classic, that is a possibility.”

In 2011 Kenya’s Brimin Kipruto narrowly missed, by one second, to clock the 7:53.63 mark, which Saif Saaeed Shaheen, a fellow Kenyan who switched allegiance to Qatar in 2003, achieved at the 2004 Golden League meet in Brussels.

The Commonwealth Games champ, who is also the World champion in the water and hurdles race, will be pushed to the limit when he comes up against American and last year’s world No. 1 Evan Jager.

Others are Kenyans Jairus Birech, Paul Kipsiele Koech and Stanley Kebenei. Abraham Kibiwott and Amos Kirui, who stood alongside winner Kipruto on the Commonwealth Games podium in Gold Coast, Australia, will compete in USA for the first time.

Kipruto, 23, owns gold medals from Rio and last year’s World Championships and has medaled in every international championships he’s started dating back to the 2011 World Youth Championships.

He kicked off the year earlier this month with a world-leading 8:10.08 from his first Commonwealth Games—the fastest ever achieved before the month of May.

Kipruto—a three-time Diamond Trophy winner—was only 18 when he won his first Pre Classic race in 2013 in a dramatic finish with two-time Olympic gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi. Kemboi crossed the finish line first but was disqualified for shoving, giving Kipruto the win.

Kenya’s Jairus Birech, who won the first of his two Diamond League trophies as a 21-year-old in 2014, has twice broken the 8-minute barrier and is the field’s second fastest at 7:58.41.

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