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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

World silver medalist Cheruiyot faces strong
challenge in Shanghai Diamond League

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya is going for fast time in his Diamond League debut in Shanghai, China on Friday.

The 23-year old has had a short rest after the Commonwealth Games and is keen to return to the track as he eyes fast times this season.

Cheruiyot holds a season best time of 3:34.84in the 1,500m , which he set in Nairobi in April prior to his trip down under.

“I need to work on my time. Training has been good with focused guidance. Now it is time to deliver and I believe Shanghai will be a good ground to do just that,” he said, Monday in Nairobi.

The African silver medalist will have to be at his best to deny World Indoor Championships bronze medallist Bethwel Birgen a sprint to the finishing line.

Birgen has not competed since his performance at the Birmingham, Indoor championships in March.

Others to look out for include Vincent Kibet, who holds a season best time of 3:38.11, Cornelius Kiplangat, Charles Simotwo, Justus Soget, and Reuben Bett.

There is also Moroccan Abdelaati Iguider and Chinese star Luo Yuxi who want to launch their career this year on a high.

However, organizers of the Shanghai meeting have confirmed that two top entries from Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson will not be available at the starting line. The duo have withdrawn from Shanghai Diamond League.

“Unfortunately both athletes are dealing with physical issues that prevent them from participating in the IAAF Shanghai Diamond League this coming Saturday,” said the organizers in a statement.

No fewer than 14 world and Olympic champions are among the galaxy of international track and field stars announced for the Shanghai Diamond League.

The competition will be the second stop in the 14-leg circuit of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ global circuit of premier one-day meetings. Doha meeting on Friday was the inaugural event of this season.

With 14 world and Olympic champions on parade, Chinese fans will have reasons to celebrate as the stellar line-up includes eight gold medalist from the London 2017 IAAF World Championships and six athletes who struck gold at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, plus nine event winners from last year’s Diamond Race and two newly crowned world indoor champions from Birmingham.

One of those is 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya, Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers, the two-time world champion over the half-lap sprint, who takes on Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

In the men’s sprints China’s Su Bingtian will face two world champions, Justin Gatlin and Ramil Guliyev over the 100m while Botswana’s Diamond League champion Isaak Makwala has a date with world silver medallist Steven Gardiner in the 400m.

             

 

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