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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Yego leads Kenyan charge in Birmingham

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego is ready for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

Yego, who recently reclaimed the Africa title in the javelin event, will be out against a strong challenge led by Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, Magnus Kirt and Andreas Hofmann.

“I believe I am getting back to the form I want. [I want] to throw over 90 meters,” said Yego, in Nairobi.

Yego’s star rose when he won an extraordinary javelin competition with a final effort of 91.39m that was initially ruled as illegal but eventually confirmed as an African and IAAF Diamond League record in Beijing in 2015.

In the 800m race, Kenya’s new star Emmanuel Korir goes up against recent European champion Adam Kszczot, with world, Commonwealth and African 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi and Jake Wightman stepping down to the two lap race.

Korir has since hinted that he will attempt to break Olympic champion David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 world record. Korir ran a world leading time of 1:41.25. “I am in good shape and will be out to run a fast time. I can do it but I have no idea if it will be in Birmingham or Brussels. I also want to win the IAAF Continental Cup,” Korir said.

The 3,000m steeplechase field includes eight of the best nine athletes in the world this year, including world leader Soufiane Bakkali of Morocco, Benjamin Kigen and Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya with the latter seeking a return to form.

African 1,500m champion Winnie Chebet will be out to reaffirm her status against Moroccan Sifan Hassan and Gudaf Tsegay.

In the 3,000m race the field is led by world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Agnes Tirop and Caroline Kipkirui. “I am heading back to Birmingham this Saturday where I will be racing in the 3,000m. I hope to see many fans there and run good time,” said Obiri. 

           

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