Wednesday, 10 May 2017 10:22

Rudisha upbeat

Olympic champions David Rudisha and Faith Chepngetich will be seeking to extend their dominance over their respectinve distances when they erect to the field at the second leg of the IAAF Diamond League series in Shanghai this weekend.

Rudisha, who retained his title in Rio, where Chepngetich also claimed her first in the 1500m, will be joined by a galaxy of other kenyan top stars including World Youth 800m silver medallist Kipyegon Bett, Olympic 400m hurdles Aaron Koech, 1500m specialist Violah Lagat and Ferguson Rotich among many others.

Rudisha, the world record holder, will renew his rivalry with his compatriots Rotich and former world junior champion Alfred Kipketer.

The trio battled each other in the previous season,where Kipketer and Rotich managed to trounce the fancied Rudisha, but the lanky runner used his experience to the tables at the Rio Olympic Games. The race is expected to offer thrills since European Indoor 800m champion as well as world silver medallist Adam Ksczot is also in the line up.

“Despite being my first race, I am looking forward to a good performance,” said Rudisha who has 1:40.91 world mark.

“I am training for it and it will be a platform for me to gauge my form for the season. Normally I used to start my season at the beginning of March in Australia but this time I chose to start in Shanghai.”

Rudisha’s target is to defend his world title at the World Championships in London in August adding that he will use the Diamond League races to sharpen himself.

“You know we are heading to London in August and I have to sharpen my form through training and participating in some competitions,” Rudisha added.

After Shanghai, Rudisha will head to Jamaica for the Racers Meet and back to Ostrava for the World Challenge before returning back home for the national trials.

Kipyegon who had finished behind Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba at the World Championships in Beijing returned the rude favour in Rio taking the gold medal.

She will be up against Lagat but Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum poses the biggest challenge alongside compatriot Besu Sado.

USA’s Jenny Meadows will also be in contention alongside compatriot Katie Mackey, Australia’s Linden Hall and Poland’s Angelika Cichocka.

“I am really excited ahead of the new season but I don’t want to say much about Shanghai meet. But obviously, you know I am preparing for London,” Chepngetich said.World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng who set world lead and meet record time of 9:00.12 in the season opener in Doha last weekend is upbeat of extending her good performances to Shanghai.

She beat Olympic and world record holder Kenya-born Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet, who finished third.