Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto eyes perfect debut in Diamond League
Olympic 3,000m Steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto will compete for the first time this year in Thursday's Florence Diamond League in Italy.
The third leg of this season's Diamond League will see less Kenyan athletes in action with many preparing for the Olympic Games national trials slated for June 17-19 at Kasarani.
Kipruto will battle world bronze medalist Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco, Ethiopia’s Takele Tadese, his compatriot Wilberforce Kones, Uganda’s Albert Chemutai among others in the 3,000m Steeplechase race.
The Kenyan started training late after a long break that was caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the suspension of sporting events.
Speaking to Nation Sport via phone, Kipruto revealed that he will run to see if he is fit ahead of next month's Tokyo Olympic Games, which he has already qualified for.
“I started training recently and my preparations are not perfect, but I will be running today (Thursday) just to see where I need to improve ahead of the Olympics Games. I’m using the 3,000m race to improve on my speed,” said Kipruto, who has been training in Mosoriot, Nandi County.
After the Florence meet, Kipruot will head back home to prepare for the Olympic national trials where he hopes to defend his title over the distance.
Another Kenyan in action Thursday night is Olympic 1,500m race Faith Chepng'etich, who line up in her specialty as she seeks to improve her performance ahead of the trials next week.
She will renew hostilties with her rival Dutch’s Sifan Hassan, Great Britain’s Lura Muir, Ethiopia’s Hailu Lemlem, Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda, among others.
Faith is in form this season, having clocked a best of 1:58.26 in the 800m at the Doha Diamond League meet last month.
Robert Kiprop will be the sole Kenyan in the 5,000m race, which has favorite Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopia’s Edris Muktar, siblings Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Henrik Ingebrigtsen from Norway among others.
posted Wednesday June 9th
by Bernard Rotich