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Kenyans Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot
face off in mile race at Prefontaine Classic

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World champion Elijah Manangoi and IAAF Diamond League champion Timothy Cheruiyot, both from Kenya, say they will take no prisoners as they clash for the second time this season at the Prefontaine Classic’s Bowerman Mile in Eugene, Oregon USA on May 26.

The duo will renew their rivalry at the IAAF Diamond League meeting, the third stop in the 14-tier series after having avoided each other in the first two outings in Doha and Shanghai.

Whereas Manangoi was in the opening session in Doha and competed in the 800m race, Cheruiyot will lead a strong Kenyan delegation in Saturday’s Shanghai Diamond League in China, where he seeks a world lead time in the four-lap race.

“My focus is on the Diamond League season now and Shanghai will be my first stop where I hope to get a strong challenge to gauge my preparedness in the 1,500m. The target is to run fast time and then we will see how the season develops,” Cheruiyot said Thursday here.

The Kenyan duo finished first and second respectively at last year’s world championships and at the recent Commonwealth Games.

They also occupied the same two positions at last year’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco where they set 1,500m personal best times of 3:28.80 and 3:29.10 respectively.

“It is a nice rivalry we have with Manangoi. He is strong and helps me bring out my best. Anyone can win the race, but there will be more than just the two of us,” said Cheruiyot.

The Kenyan pair aren’t the only great racers in the event that serves annually as the Prefontaine Classic’s finale.

Two-time Bowerman Mile winner Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti will also be returning to Eugene.

He set the meeting record, and the USA all-comers’ record, of 3:47.32 in 2014, just two months after winning the world indoor 1500m title.

Former World silver medalist Silas Kiplagat set his mile bets time of 3:47.88 when finishing second to Souleiman in Eugene in 2014.

The 2011 world silver medalist will be making his eighth appearance at Hayward Field and will be aiming for his fourth sub-3:50 performance.

The USA’s Matthew Centrowitz is ready to return to Hayward Field for the first time since winning the Olympic title in Rio. His PB of 3:50.53 from the 2014 Bowerman Mile is the fastest ever run by a US athlete at Hayward Field.

Ethiopian record-holder Aman Wote has raced in the Bowerman Mile five times, finishing third three times. The 2014 world indoor silver medalist set his bets time of 3:48.60 in Eugene four years ago.

Youngsters Samuel Tefera and Jakob Ingebrigsten will be making their Bowerman Mile debut.

Others in the field include world indoor 3000m bronze medalist Bethwell Birgen, fellow Kenyan and world indoor finalist Vincent Kibet, Olympic finalist Ben Blankenship, Bahrain’s Sadik Mikhou, Brazil’s world 800m finalist Thiago Do Rosario Andre and USA’s Craig Engels.  



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