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Conse out to defend 3,000m steeplechase title in Birmingham

Kipruto said he is getting back to his best form and is relishing the challenge of competing at the top, again.

In Summary

•Team Kenya lost their dominance in the event at this year's World Championships in Oregon, Eugene and at last year's Tokyo Olympics, with Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali striking gold on both occasions.

•In the women's 800m, world bronze medallist Mary Moraa will be aiming to finally strike a global title after a superb show in the heats.

Conseslus Kipruto in action with Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali during a past race
Conseslus Kipruto in action with Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali during a past race
Image: FILE

Defending 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto will be aiming to safeguard Kenya's strong tradition in the event at the Commonwealth Games today.

Team Kenya lost their dominance in the event at this year's World Championships in Oregon, Eugene and at last year's Tokyo Olympics, with Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali striking gold on both occasions.

Two-time world champion Kipruto, who won a bronze medal in Oregon, will have Abraham Kibiwott and World under 20 champion Amos Serem for company as Team Kenya attempt a clean sweep of the medals.

Kipruto said he is getting back to his best form and is relishing the challenge of competing at the top, again.

“It's been a tough journey in the last two years. Not competing at Tokyo last year was sad but I am slowly getting back into shape and I want to retain my title from Gold Coast four years ago," he said.

Kipruto believes teamwork will be key in the race that starts at 1:50 pm (EAT).

“Teamwork will be very important and we hope we can do the country proud and win the gold medal," said Kipruto, popularly known as Conse.

Team Kenya have bossed the water jump event for the last seven editions courtesy of the likes of Jonathan Ndiku, Richard Mateelong, Ezekiel Kemboi and Stephen Cherono.

Following a disappointing performance at the World Championships,  Timothy Cheruiyot and Africa 1500m champion, Abel Kipsang will train their guns on winning gold in what will be an action-packed day on the track.

Cheruiyot, the 2019 world 1,500m champion, finished second in 3:37.82 seconds in Heat One while Kipsang, who rallied from behind to lead at the bell, settled for third in Heat Two in a time of 3:48.63.

The duo looked in good shape and should start the race as favourites for the event. The race starts at 3:15 pm (EAT).

In the women's 800m, world bronze medallist Mary Moraa will be aiming to finally strike a global title after a superb show in the heats.

Moraa will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of previous winners of the two-lap race at the Club Games including former world champions Janeth Jepkosgei in Melbourne (2006) and Eunice Sum in Glasgow, Scotland (2014).

Moraa will face a tough battle from Halima Nakaayi of Uganda in what will be a hotly contested final that will also feature home favourite Laura Muir. The race will be at 9:45 pm (EAT).

Nicholas Kimeli, Jacob Krop and Cornelius Kemboi will be hoping to salvage pride in the 5,00o m race at 10:10 pm (EAT).

Team Kenya played second fiddle to Uganda four years ago at the Gold Coast with Joshua Cheptegei winning the event.

Kimeli, who has the fastetet time this year (12:46.33) — set at the Rome Dimaond League meeting, will fancy his chances of getting a medal.