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Almaz Ayana and Faith Kipyegon on start lists for Prefontaine Classic Diamond League this weekend

June 26, 2019
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Faith Kipyegon will be running in the women's 1500m

One of those IAAF Diamond League meetings that one should never ever miss is happening this weekend in Stanford, USA.

Looking at the women 3000m’s start list, I could not help but wonder whether such a stellar field has ever been assembled for this event in recent times! There are two world record holders; Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana, with Ayana staging a comeback after being away from competitive running for a while due to an injury.

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Hellen Obiri who is ranked as world number one at the moment in the 5000m event will also be there, together with Sifan Hassan who gave a hard run to Dibaba in their recent 1500m race that led to her running a national record of 3:55.93, will also be there!

Also worth watching out for will be Agnes Tirop who has been in great form this year and just won the women’s 5000m race at the Stockholm Diamond League less than a month ago; Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, Letesenbet Gidey, Lilian Kasait and Caroline Kipkurui, among others.

The women’s 1500m race will see the return of Kenya’s Olympic Champion, Faith Kipyegon. Gudaf Tsegay who has consistently been finishing on podium will be one of the top contenders to spoil the party for Kipyegon.

A race that will likely be of great interest to the hosts will be the women’s 3000m steeplechase in which the two women who ran an historic 1-2 finish for the US at the London world championships will be lining up. Perhaps Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs will be employing the same tactics that gave them the historic win in 2017.

Many fans will also like to see a repeat of the competition between the world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech and the world leader, Norah Jeruto. The two seem to be in a class of their own at this event this year, but Hyvin Kiyeng and Celliphine Chespol can never be over-looked.

Almost like in the women’s 3000m race, the men’s mile is also star-filled. There are the usual two protagonists in this event; Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot. However, it may not be an easy task for them to dominate here as there could be surprises from Samuel Tefera, Ayanleh Souleiman and Mathew Centrowitz.

The rare two mile race will also be an interesting one to watch. Joshua Cheptegei will get another chance to appeal against Selemon Barega who beat him at their last 3000m race. Ronald Kwemoi will be the athlete who is likely to pull out a surprise here having been out of competition for a while and just recently ran in an 800m race. Hagos Gebrhiwet, Jacob Kiplimo and Mohammed Ahamed will also be featuring in this race.

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