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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Asbel, Centrowitz meet for first time since Rio Olympics

Asbel Kiprop stops his clock during the national athletics championships at Nyayo Stadium /ENOS TECHE
Asbel Kiprop stops his clock during the national athletics championships at Nyayo Stadium /ENOS TECHE

Three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop and Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz of USA will meet for the first time since Rio Olympics when they parade at the Lausanne Diamond League meet next month.

The Athletissima organisers have revealed that 26 winners from the Beijing world and Rio Olympics will line up in the meeting set for July 6.

Asbel failed to impress last year in Rio as Centrowitz carried the day and their re-union in Lausanne will be a perfect opportunity for Asbel to avenge the defeat.

With Asbel having lined up yesterday at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, he is seeking his fine form for the August’s London World Championships where he will be going for his fourth title.

“Winning the world title three times is not easy but hard work and discipline has enabled me to achieve it. I am already preparing for the fourth title,” said Asbel.

In May at the Prefontaine Classic, where he ran his first Diamond race this season, Asbel faded off in the Bower Man Mile race won by youngstar Ronald Kwemoi in a World Lead time of 3:49.04.

Before then, Asbel had successfully anchored Team Kenya to victory in the inaugural mixed relay race at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala in March.

His 3:26.69 meeting record at the 2015 Monaco Diamond League ranked him third on all-time list over the distance but he failed to live to it when he returned last year in a race won by Kwemoi.

In the 800m women’s race, Rio medallists, of South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) and Kenya’s Margaret Nyairera will battle for top honours.

Since Rio, where Semenya took gold as Niyonsaba and Nyairera followed, the trio have had a fierce competition this season in the Diamond circuit.

In Doha, Nyairera placed second behind Semenya and headed to the Prefontaine where she again settled for second but finished third at the Oslo meeting last week.

They will be renewing their rivalry with Semenya having proven a hard nut to crack World Championships get nearer everyday.

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