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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Kipruto faces challenge to jump
credibility hurdle in Rabat meeting

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto will be the man to watch at the Meeting Mohammed VI D’Athletisme in Rabat on July 16, the African leg of the IAAF Diamond League.

Kipruto, who will be leading Kenyan team at the London World Championships in the steeplechase, is under pressure to prove his Rio Olympic win was no fluke after breaking the jinx understudying legend Ezekiel Kemboi.

“I always fight for my place in the team. It is a chocking field of row talent oozing class especially for a Kenyan in the steeplechase. You must be at your best to make the cut. Every championship is a step for me to prove I’m the next king of steeplechase and Rabat is the net place I take the battle,” he said.

There will be at least three Olympic champions confirmed for the Rabat meeting, the tenth stop in the Diamond League circuit.

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson will try to improve on the 11.02 seconds meeting record she set in the 100m last year.

The Jamaican recently won the national 100m title in a world-leading 10.71 seconds and will be looking to sharpen up in that event ahead of the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

Dalilah Muhammad last weekend won the US 400m hurdles title in what was the greatest depth race in history in that discipline. Her winning mark of 52.64 seconds was the fastest time in the world since 2011. The Olympic champion will be racing in Rabat for the first time in her career.

Kipruto provided one of the highlights of last year’s Meeting Mohammed VI D’Athletisme, winning the steeplechase in a meeting record of 8:02.77. The Olympic champion will be back in Rabat to try to improve on that mark.

Other international athletes set to compete in Rabat include Canada’s triple Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse, USA’s Olympic 800m bronze medallist Clayton Murphy and US 100m champion Justin Gatlin.

Meanwhile, 2012 world indoor 1500m champion Abdalaati Iguider and steeplechase specialist Soufiane El Bakkali will aim to achieve victories for the host nation. 

           

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