NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – The lucrative World Athletics Diamond League guns off on Friday with the season opening leg in Doha.
As always, Kenyan athletes will be on the startlist, battling with the rest of the world for a huge payday as well as preparations towards the World Championships that are scheduled for July in Oregon, United States.
Here is the list of Kenyans set to compete in the Qatari capital.
3,000m women, 7:17pm
There will be four Kenyan athletes competing in this race, headlined by steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon.
While Chepkoech will be working on her speed having just recovered from injury, Kipyegon is building up her endurance as this is her first outing of the season on track.
Youngster Edinah Jebitok and former World Cross Country champion Beatrice Chebet are also lined up for this race.
They expect stiff competition from Burundian Francine Niyonsaba, who is the quickest in the field with a personal best time of 8:19.08.
800m men, 7:49pm
Two Kenyans will be in this race; World Under-20 silver medalist Noah Kibet and Olympic silver medalist Ferguson Rotich.
Kibet will open his outdoor season and will look to pick on the form he showed when finishing second behind Emmanuel Wanyonyi in the Under-20 final at the Kasarani Stadium last year.
Rotich meanwhile opened his outdoor season on a low, finishing last in the 800m race at the Kip Keino Classic last weekend, but will look to post better results in Doha.
1500m men, 8:23pm
Four Kenyans will line up in the race that will be paced by Timothy Sein of the Rongai Athletics Club.
World champion Timothy Cheruiyot who has been struggling with a muscular injury for most of the pre-season will look towards starting his outdoor international season on a high.
He finished outside the top three at the National Championship two weeks ago, but he struggled on the final lap as he felt a tight hamstring. But with some good recovery, Cheruiyot hopes for a positive start.
Fresh from winning the Kip Keino Classic last weekend, Abel Kipsang will look to continue in his fantastic season as he eyes another victory, this time in the Diamond League.
Having finished fourth at the Olympic Games, Kipsang is looking to improve heading to the worlds and doing well in Doha will be a huge boost.
He will have compatriots Kamar Etyang and perennial Diamond League competitor Charles Simotwo for company.
3,000m steeplechase men, 8:47pm
The Kenyan legion as always will be heavily represented in this traditional race. Reigning World Champion Conseslus Kipruto had hoped to line up for this race, but he has not been included in the startlist.
In his absence, Kip Keino Classic winner Abraham Kibiwott and Olympic bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen and former World U20 champion Leonard Bett will look to defend Kenya’s honour.
Also present is Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali, who ended Kenya’s dominance in Tokyo 2020. He will come up against the Kenyans who wish to serve some revenge and reclaim the glory.
Lawrence Kemboi will pace the race.