NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Top Kenyan athletes will launch their bid to
secure tickets to the World Indoor Championships on Saturday in
Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe, in Germany.
Bethwell Birgen will
lead the pack for the IAAF Indoor tour, which comprises of six
races in Europe and the United States.
Though Birgen has
already secured his ticket through a wild card after winning
last year’s tour in 1,500m, he must show his fitness by
retaining his title.
“I have to show the
fitness that propelled me to win the IAAF Indoor tour last
season. But with this caliber of athletes, it brings out the
best in me and I look forward to a fast race,” Birgen said on
standout Silas Kiplagat and Beijing Olympic 5,000m bronze
medalist Edwin Soi will compete in Karlsruhe.
Iguider is a regular force in just about every major
championship since 2008.
Meanwhile, with the
late hour withdrawal of Kenyan Kipyegon Bett due to a minor
injury, the focus in the men’s 800m will fall on the experienced
Marcin Lewandowski, who’s won European indoor gold at 800m and
The field also
includes Briton Andrew Osagie, the 2012 and 2014 world indoor
bronze medallist, and Erik Solinski of the U.S., the 2016 world
indoor bronze winner who opened his season with a win in New
York last weekend.
In the women’s
1,500m race, the absence of world and Olympic champion Faith
Kipyegon leaves Ethiopian world record holder Genzebe Dibaba
facing a field that includes Kenyan Winny Chebetand Poland’s
The Indoor Meeting
Karlsruhe serves as the first of the six races in the 2018 IAAF
World Indoor Tour.
This year’s tour
will be staged over the course of 22 days, with further stops in
Dusseldorf, Madrid, Boston and Torun before its conclusion in
Glasgow on Feb 25, just four days before the IAAF World
Championships Birmingham from March 1-4.
At the end of the
series, the individual overall winner of each discipline takes
home 20,000 U.S. dollars in prize money and a wild card entry to
the World Indoor Championships.