World and Commonwealth 1500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot leads a formidable lineup to the Paris Diamond League meeting on Saturday.
Cheruiyot, who is part of Team Kenya to the Africa Senior Championships, will be hoping to continue his rich vein of form on the circuit.
He won the 800m at Kenya Prisons Championships a fortnight ago posting 1:44.7 and clinched last month’s Diamond League meeting in Shanghai after posting 3:31.48 in his specialty.
Cheruiyot, who has played second fiddle to World and Commonwealth Games champion Elijah Manangoi in the recent past, is confident of his from.
“My form is good and I am confident this year I can strike gold at the Africa championship in Nigeria and I will be using the Diamond League meeting to gauge my form as part of my preparations,” said Cheruiyot.
Cheruiyot, the Diamond League trophy holder, will enjoy the company of compatriots Bethwell Birgen and Charles Simotwo. The Kenyan trio will be up against a competitive field that includes home favourite Mahidiene Benabad, Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman, Morocco ‘s Abdelaati Iguider, New Zealand’s Nick Willis, and Ethiopian trio of Wote Aman, Samuel Tefera and Taresa Tolosa as well as Filip Ingebrigsten of Norway.
Africa cross country champion Celliphine Chespol is the favourite in the 3000m steeplechase. Chespol, who has a season’s best of 9:05.14 and is world under 20 champion, leads a formidable lineup which includes former world champion Hyving Kiyeng, Beatrice Chepkoech, Roseline Chepngetich, Ann Gathoni, Norah Jeruto, Purity Kirui, Caroline Tuigong and Daisy Jepkemei .
They face Commonwealth Games champion in the distance Aisha Praught of Jamaica who will be keen to show her win in Gold Coast was not a fluke. Others to look out for are Canada’s Lalonde Genevieve and Fabiennne Schlumpf of Switzerland.
Former World 800m champion Eunice Sum is entered in the two-lap race and faces a Herculean task against fellow compatriots Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera, and Emily Cherotich .The Kenyan trio have their work cut out against World and Commonwealth Games champion Caster Semenya of South Africa, Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Ajee Wilson of the United States of America.
World 800m bronze medallist Kipyegon Bett enters the fray in the two lap race alongside Ferguson Rotich and Jonathan Kitilit. They will compete against World champion Pierre Ambroise of France and Eric Sowinski of the United States.