Bett relishing Kipruto clash at Kip Keino Classic
World Under-20 30000m steeplechase silver medallist Leonard Bett is raring to go for glory at the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour meet on Saturday.
Bett will face off with Olympic and World 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and African Games champion Benjamin Kigen in an-all Kenyan affair after world bronze medallist Soufianne El Bakkali of Morocco who was in the provisional list for the race opted to skip the meet.
The trio will be joined by Abraham Kibiwott and Amos Kirui with Hilal Yego (Turkey), Abel Sikowo (Uganda) and Abraham Seme (Ethiopia) the only foreigners in the water and barriers race which is one of the core events in the meet.
Bett will be making his second appearance of the season since placing second at the Monaco Diamond League last month.
The 19-year-old who clocked a season best of 8:08.78 at the Monaco meeting will be seeking home magic to improve on his personal best mark of 8:08.61.
“Monaco was a good outing for me considering this has been a very difficult season and I am looking forward to improving further. As for me I think I am progressing well and I think I also learnt something from Monaco that I will be making some corrections on Saturday,” said Bett.
The athlete who trains in Silbwet Athletics Camp in Bomet said he is fired up for yet another battle with steeplechase king Conseslus with the duo having met last at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“I am optimistic since I have trained well. As a young athlete we need experience from the likes of Conseslus and it will be even a good opportunity for us to compete at home,” he said.
On his part, Kipruto will be returning to his favoured event having competed in 1500m race at the Doha Diamond League a week ago where he also withdrew.
In the women’s field, a mouthwatering clash is expected as World champion Beatrice Chepkoech renews rivalry with the 2015 World champion Hyvin Kiyeng.
The pair met twice this season with recently being at Doha Diamond League where Chepkoech placed third in the 3000m race as Kiyeng finished fifth.
Earlier this month, Kiyeng got the better of Chepkoech at the ISTAF Berlin- a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting that saw her clock 9:06.14 ahead of Chepkoech who came home second in 9:10.07.
Joining the duo are youngsters; Fancy Cherono, Mercy Chepkurui and Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile as well as the World under-20 silver medallist Peruth Chemutai of Uganda.