The flames of the 15th Edition of IAAF World Championship illuminate the Bird’s Nest Stadium from tomorrow morning with six Kenyans bracing for medal chase in China.
Anchored by former World Marathon Record holder Wilson Kipsang and World cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, the elite runners are expected to open the medal chart in men’s marathon and 10,000metreswhen the starting gun is fired.
Kipsang and Kamworor, who have displayed superior form this season with glittering performance in London Marathon and in the World cross-country in Guiyang, China, are scheming to win the global titles during the first day of the nine-day tournament.
The former marathon King will receive coaxing from current record holder and team mate Dennis Kimeto and less marketed John Korir when the first event of the championship kick off at 07.35hrs local time (02.35 am in Kenya.)
Kipsang and Kimeto finished second and third during London marathon in April with the former vowing to clinch the coveted silver ware in the Chinese Capital.
“After running six times under 2:05, I am now focusing on the World Championship title. I want to go to Beijing since I have not represented my country in the World Championship,” announced the former World recorder after running in London during the month of April.
The trio will go flat-out to reclaim the World marathon crown last won by countryman Abel Kirui in 2009 and 2011. Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda denied Kenyans the precious medal in 2013 in Moscow.
In another medal hunt during the opening day of the championship on Saturday afternoon, Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki and Paul Tanui will tightened their running spikes as they compete in the men’s 10,000metres title in the afternoon programme.
Kamworor, also the World half-marathon champion, will not only becounting on his top shape and support from team mates but also onunleash tactics to tame Britain’s Mo Farah’s flick kicks that he has been using as a secret weapon against opponents.
The 10,000metres favourite must also scheme well and interpret every step and rely on Karoki and Tanui, all too familiar with the Japanese lapping system of training, to stop Farah who has oiled his muscles for the title defense.
The event, to be run at 20.50 local time (15.50 in Kenya), will be watched keenly by athletics fans since the tussling will involve the Kenyans, Farah and the Ethiopians.
The quartet of Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto, Conseslus Kipruto and Jairus Birech will provide the curtain-raiser as they run the semi-finals of the 3,000metres Steeplechase after the marathon at 05.25 hrs in the morning programe session.
Faith Chepng’etich, Viola Lagat and Nancy Jepkwemoi are programmed to start the quarter-final at 6.15 Kenya time (11.15) before David Rudisha, Ferguson Rotich and Alfred Kipketer take to the track at 6.50 for the qualifying rounds.
The men marathon and the 10,000metres will be the medal launcher and Kenyans will keep their fingers crossed awaiting the medal harvest to commence.
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