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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto targets world
record at Eugene Classic meeting   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The world’s two fastest steeplechasers since the Rio Olympics Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto and American record holder Evan Jager will clash at the Prefontaine Classic meeting in Eugene on May 26.

Kipruto has been categorical and he will make his first attempt to break Qatar’s Kenyan-born Saif Saaeed Shaheen world steeplechase record of 7:53.63 in USA.

“I have nothing to hold back. There are no major competitions lined up this season and the Diamond League offers that opportunity to try running world records. I will make my first attempt in Eugene and see how it goes. A second attempt will be in Monaco,” said Kipruto Tuesday in Eldoret.

Kipruto and Jager will duel once again and will be joined by a stacked list that includes eight of the top 10 in world rankings.

“It is a classic field and at this level it has always been. But there is a chance of fast time and we will all go for it,” he added.

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, 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.

“I have secured world and Olympic titles. I won in Commonwealth Games and Africa championships. Now what is missingis  the world record,” he said.

Jager, 29, is America’s best steeplechaser and the silver medalist at Rio 2016. He claimed a bronze in London at last year’s world championships.

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UPDATE:

Ugandan athletes ready for IAAF Shanghai Diamond League

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Ugandan athletes Joel Ayeko, Stephen Kissa and Peruth Chemutai are set for the 2018 IAAF Shanghai Diamond League slated for May 12.

Dominic Otuchet, the president of the Uganda Athletics Federation, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the team will travel to China on Wednesday.

However, the team will miss Jacob Kiplimo, who was crowned at the U-20 race of the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championship, as he failed to process his travel documents in time.

“It is unfortunate that Kiplimo failed to travel in time from Kapchorwa district to Kampala for the visa process,” Otuchet said.

Kiplimo was also part of the Ugandan team at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia last month.

“I know that the competition in China will be tough, but I am well prepared,” Chemutai told Xinhua.

The 2018 IAAF Diamond League started with the Doha event last weekend before it shifts to Shanghai. The others on card include: Eugene, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, Paris, Lausanne, Rabat, Monaco, London, Birmingham, Zurich and Brussels.

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