Kenyan track athletes begin their season of harvesting and bettering their personal record as they chase overall crowns in the money-rich International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond Leagues that kick off this Friday in Qatar.
Olympic and World Champions will go hammer-and-Tong as they scramble for the Us$145,000 (Sh14.5 million) being dangled in each of the 14 Diamond League series that runs from May 5th to September 1st this year.
Steeplechase sensation Conseslus Kipruto, the winner of the series last year after bagging the Olympic title in Rio in the specialty, will unwrap the season in Doha where javelin maestro Julius Yego, the World champion over the event, will take on Olympic champion Thomas Rohler in the throw.
A dozen other Kenyans will be taking to the track eyeing the top prize of US dollars 50,000 and as they tune themselves for the August 4th to 13th IAAF World Championships in London.
They include 5,000 metres trio of former Commonwealth bronze medalist Thomas Longosiwa, World Silver medalist Caleb Mwangangi and Edwin Soi.
Â 1,500metres silver taker Elijah Manangoi will lead training mate Timothy Cheruiyot in a star-laded line-up that will also feature upcoming Vincent Kibet, previous African Youth champ Robert Biwott as well as Bethwel Birgen.
Â The Doha Meeting will pave way for Shanghai on May 13th before the Prefontaine classic in Eugene, United States of America, where 1,500 Olympic Champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon will command a strong sub-four minutes class for the showstopper.
She will be in the warm company of 5,000metres Olympic silver medalist Helen Obiri, who previously held the Kenyan record as well as the US all-comers mark. They will be facing a formidable challenge from Laura Muir, the fastest woman with 3:56.05 tugged in her belt.
Â The IAAF Diamond League rewards the top 8 in every Meeting for the chosen event with the winner pocketing US$50,000 (Sh5.050,000). The runners up take home US$20,000 while position 3 goes with US$10,000.
Â IAAF Diamond League Calendar (2017);
5th May Doha, Qatar
13th May Shanghai, China
27th May Eugene, USA
8th June Rome, Italy
15th June – Oslo, Norway
18th June Stockholm, Sweden
1st July Paris, France
6th July Lausanne, Switzerland
9th July London, Great Britain
16th July Rabat, Morocco
21st July Monaco, France
20th August Birmingham, Great Britain
24th August Zurich, Switzerland
1st September Brussels, Belgium
Media & Communications