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Steeplechaser Chepkoech to warm up in Shanghai Diamond League for breaking world record later

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-08 10:02
Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech and Fancy Cherono in action during the women's 3000m steeplechase at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, August 31, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

NAIROBI -- Beatrice Chepkoech from Kenya said Tuesday that she will warm up in the Shanghai Diamond League for trying to refresh the 3,000m steeplechase world record at the Prefontaine Classic in the United States.

Chepkoech, who has been seeking endurance experience in the cross country circuit, will return to her specialty in China on May 18 running the water and hurdle race.

Chepkoech hopes to repeat last year's dramatic victory when she takes on fellow Kenyans Hyvin Kiyeng, the 2015 world champion and Olympic silver medalist, Celliphine Chespol, the current world junior champion, and Norah Jeruto, the 2016 African champion.

"I hope to be in best shape. The season has many events and one is the Shanghai Diamond League, where I hope to win," she said.

Chepkoech was in Doha, the first stop in the 14-tier circuit running the 3,000m flat race, which was won by World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri with Genzebe Dibaba finishing second. Chepkoech was fourth clocking a season best of 8 minutes and 29.83 seconds.

Now she turns her focus to the water and hurdle race in Shanghai.

Last year, Chepkoech won in Shanghai after Jeruto slipped and fell in the home straight after the pair had broken free before the final lap.

"I look forward to the challenge again. I love running in China and Shanghai has a fast track," she added.

Bahrain's Asian games champion, Winfred Yavi, and Ugandan teenager Peruth Chemutai, will seek to break up the Kenyan train.

In Prefontaine Classic in the United States, Chepkoech will take on world champion Emma Coburn from the United States in the steeplechase on June 30.

It won't be just a two-woman contest, though, as the field features six of the eight fastest women in history.

Chepkoech refreshed the world record in Monaco last year with 8:44.32 before going on to win the IAAF Diamond League title. Having finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships, the Kenyan won the African title last year.

More recently she finished seventh at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Coburn won gold at the 2017 World Championships with a championship record of 9:02.58 with her teammate Courtney Frerichs taking silver.

Coburn's time was a North American record until it was broken by Frerichs last year with 9:00.85.

Hyvin Kiyeng followed her 2015 world title with Olympic silver in 2016 and world bronze in 2017. The Kenyan set her lifetime best of 9:00.01 at the 2016 Prefontaine Classic.

Fellow Kenyans Celliphine Chespol, Norah Jeruto and Daisy Jepkemei are also in the field.

Chespol won the 2017 Pre Classic in a world U20 record of 8:58.78 and went on to win the world U20 title one year later. Jeruto, the 2016 African champion, was runner-up to Chepkoech in last year's IAAF Diamond League final, while 2012 world U20 champion Daisy Jepkemei set her best time of 9:10.71 last year.

Uganda's Peruth Chemutai and Bahrain's Winfred Mutile Yavi took silver and bronze behind Chespol at last year's World U20 Championships. Chemutai was fifth in the senior women's race at the World Cross Country Championships in March, while Yavi won a steeplechase and 5000m double at the recent Asian Championships in Doha.

The field also includes 2015 world bronze medalist Gesa-Felicitas Krause, U.S. Olympian Colleen Quigley and Asian silver medalist Xu Shuangshuang of China.

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