NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s new middle-distance sensation Elijah
Manangoi will be among the 20 world champions engaged for
Thursday’s Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway.
Manangoi has not
nailed down any win in the last three races he has taken part in
since winning the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia at
the beginning of April.
But he remains
focused and certain he will break the duck in Norway during the
fifth stop of the Diamond League.
“The challenge is
real and I have not been at my best. But I am improving by the
day and this mile event in Oslo may just be the turning point
for me this season,” said Manangoi, Tuesday in Nairobi.
Two other Kenyans,
world indoor bronze medalists Bethwel Birgen and former world
youth champion Kumari Taki will also be racing in the dream mile
Birgen is keen to
nail down a slot in the Kenya team to the Africa championships
in August in Asaba, Nigeria and believes he will be able to
shake off his rivals during the national trials in Nairobi late
“I feel strong now
and will challenge for a national slot during the trials. But
for now, the focus is on Oslo and after that we will see what
tactics to use in the national championships in Nairobi,” he
In the women’s
3,000m steeplechase race, five athletes will be taking on each
other in a mini-Kenyan championship. Rome Diamond League winner
Hyvin Kiyeng will take on Shanghai champion Caroline Chepkoech
and reigning world champion Emma Coburn of the USA.
“My best form is
back and I won in Rome. Now I will prove yet again to Coburn
that I am the best in water and hurdle race,” said Kiyeng, the
Beijing World Championships winner.
Others in the race
will be Ann Gathoni, Daisy Jepkemei, Purity Kirui and Caroline
In 800m, Kenya’s
Nelly Jepkosgei will face Caster Semenya, while in 10,000m
Dominic Kiptarus will be the lone wolf in the flock of sheep. He
comes up against Norwegian Sondre Moen, who returns to track
racing after a dominant year on the roads.
With the European
Championship in Berlin later in August, interest will be high in
the progress of various athletes from the region, and there are
no than fewer than 14 previous European champions confirmed for
the Bislett Games.