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Sum leads Kenya’s charge in Lausanne Diamond League

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s former world 800m champion Eunice Sum will return to competition on Thursday in the Diamond League in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The 30-year-old has battled poor form and will be running her third race this season, after Doha and Paris. However, Sum will be out to prove she still has what it takes ahead of the African Championships in August.

“I’m enjoying my new fitness and want to test how fast I can run in Switzerland. It was bad for me to miss the World Championships last season due to illness, but I am back now in good health and ready to challenge for the medals,” she said.

In Paris last week, Sum had to settle for fourth place in 1:59.25, as world and Olympic champion Caster Semenya led from gun to tape to clock 1:54.25 to move to fourth fastest on the world all-time list behind Czech icons Jarmila Kratochvilova (1:53.28), Nadezhda Olizarenko (1:53.43) and Pamela Jelimo (1:54.01).

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba was a distant second in 1:55.86, with USA runner Ajee Wilson third in 1:57.11.

But Semenya will not be running the 800m in Lausanne, opening the door for Sum to claim the win. However, she will have to compete against Niyonsaba and Kenya’s Margaret Nyairera.

Semenya has decided instead to tackle the 1,500 meters, where she will need to overcome strong competition from Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, who has been racking up the wins so far in 2018.

Also in the pack will be England’s Laura Muir, who finished runner-up in the World Indoor Championships, Shelby Houlihan of the USA, and Morocco’s Rababe Harafi, all of whom have run sub-four minute time this season.

             

 

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