Korir set for Nijel Amos face-off at Doha DL

The 2019 Diamond League season is set to kick off on Friday May 3rd with the first stop being at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. In the 800m men, Africa Silver medallist Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir will renew rivalry with African champion Nigel Amos of Botswana who beat him to gold in the 2018 African championships held in Asaba, Nigeria. “I am excited to open my season in Doha again and I look forward to racing the Khalifa International Stadium for the first time,” said Korir who holds a Personal Best (PB) of 1:42.05. Other Kenyans in the provisional list released on Tuesday by the organisers are; the Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, Ferguson Rotich, Jonathan Kitilit and Cornelius Tuwei. In the women race, Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera will lead Kenyan field that also has Nelly Jepkosgei. A mouth-watering clash is expected in the men’s 1,500m where World silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot will be seeking for a third consecutive gong but will have to contain his training mates; the Manangoi siblings- World champion Elijah Manangoi and his younger brother the Under-20 champion George Manangoi. Other Kenyans are; Charles Simotwo, Timothy Sein, Ronald Kwemoi, Jackson Kivuva, Bethwell Birgen and Vincent Kibet. A tough battle is also expected in the 3,000m women race where the World 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech faces off with the world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri who recently clinched the senior women title in the World Cross Country championships. The World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet will be eager to make a mark even as she kicks off her journey to the senior category. “Right now I am graduating to the senior category beginning with the Doha meet, I know it will not be easy especially when facing the likes of (Hellen) Obiri but I am ready for the challenge,” said the in-form Chebet who recently won the Africa Under-20 5,000M title shortly after bagging the World Cross Junior’s title. Also, in the mix are; Africa 800m champion Winny Chebet, the 2017 World Cross Country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait, 1,500m Africa youth silver medallist Eva Cherono, Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo, Gloriah Kite, World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop, Caroline Chepkoech and Mary Kuria. World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist Leonard Kipkemoi  Bett fresh from winning Africa Junior championships will be up against compatriots; Amos Kirui, Nicholas Kiptanui, Abraham Kibiwott, Benjamin Kigen, Emmanuel Kiprono, Lawrence Kemboi, Barnabas Kipyego, Wilberforce Chemiat and Kennedy Njiru. Kenyans will however be wary of the threat posed by Africa silver medallist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco who holds a PB of 7:58.15. After the Doha meet, action will shift to Shanghai, China for the second meeting slated for May 18.

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