World 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto will square it out with the Tokyo Olympic champion, Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco at the Paris Diamond League Meeting that will be held on Saturday (28) at the Stade Charlety in Paris.
El Bakkali, who in Tokyo became the first non-Kenyan to win the men’s Olympic 3000m steeplechase title since Poland’s Bronislaw Malinowski at the 1980 Moscow Games – which Kenya boycotted – will be favourite on paper to record another victory in Paris.
The Moroccan will have to battle with his most fierce opponent the Rio 2016 Games gold medallist and double world champion Kipruto, who dropped out of the Kenyan Olympic trials after two laps following an injury that has been toll on him.
Despite Kipruto’s outstanding success in major championships, El Bakkali is the fastest runner in the field with a best of 7:58.15. Kipruto, surprisingly, has never bettered 8 minutes, with a best of 8:00.12.
Lamecha Girma will be the Ethiopia’s hope as he carries his personal best of 8:01.36 that he got at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, where he won the silver medal and set the new Ethiopian national record.