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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Youngster Korir remains 'top' Kenyan at New York Indoor meet

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- With Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha giving the World Indoor Championships a wild berth, Kenya’s hopes will rest on two men, Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni.

The two, who are based in the United States, are doing everything to outshine each other.

A week ago, it was Saruni who left the world dreaming as he set a fast time over the 600m and later a world lead in indoor over the 800m in Texas.

However, not to be outdone, Korir will line up on the night of Feb. 3 at the iconic New York Road Runners Millrose Games in the USA. Korir is the top name in the men’s 800m along with Donavan Brazier and Olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy.

"Their competition is critical for the Kenya team.

"It will bring out the best in them," said Kenya’s head coach Japheth Kemei in Nairobi on Saturday.

Saruni, who was dropped in a controversial way from the 800m team to London World Championships last year in favor of Korir, Ferguson Rotich, the former IAAF Diamond League winner and David Rudisha, the Olympic champion, has thrown down the gauntlet and is waiting for the result.

In the 3,000m women’s race, there will be no Kenyan representation but the race will still have its spark as world 3,000m steeplechase champion Emma Coburn will contest the 3,000m flat while world indoor silver medallist Ryan Hill faces Andrew Butchart in the men’s 3,000m.

Reigning world and Olympic pole vault champion Ekaterini Stefanidi will open her season in New York Millrose Games where she will renew her rivalry with world indoor champion Sandi Morris who has already cleared a world-leading 4.90m in 2018.

In the sprints, world-leader Murielle Ahoure faces reigning world 100m champion Tori Bowie in the 60m while Jamaicans Omar McLeod and Asafa Powell face top Americans Ronnie Baker and Noah Lyles in the men’s 60m.

World 400m hurdles champion Kori Carter steps down to the 60m hurdles where she will face recent global medallists Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kristi Castlin while world 110m hurdles record-holder Aries Merritt faces Devon Allen in the men’s 60m hurdles.

Elsewhere in the sprints, Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will contest the rarely-run 300m.

           

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