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Rudisha, Jelimo to headline Mumias meet

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NAIROBI, Kenya, April 19-World record holder, David Rudisha and Olympics champion Pamela Jelimo are the headline acts for the 6th AK/NBK Weekend Track and Field Meeting in Mumias.

Rudisha and Jelimo will step down the distance to 400m as they continue their preparations for the onset of the outdoor track season that will be crowned by the London Olympics in the event that will run at the Mumias Sports Complex.

“For now, we are planning for him to run tomorrow (Friday) only but depending on what we see, he could do the second day as well,” Rudisha’s coach, Bro Colm O’Connell told Capital Sport on Thursday.

The world champion from Daegu is set to open his Samsung Diamond League campaign in Doha on May 11 before racing in America for the first time during the June 9 round at the Adidas meet in New York.

Rudisha, who has been training in Iten, is on a mission to win his first Olympics title in London after missing from the last edition in Beijing when he failed to make the Trials because of a foot injury.

After the chaos that shrouded the fourth edition in Kericho a fortnight ago where Olympics champion, Asbel Kiprop was injured in a fall during the men 800m final, many top runners have settled on the well laid Mumias track to brace for the start of the Samsung Diamond League in Doha on May 11.

“We hope the track at Mumias is fine since we do not want anything that might jeopardise our season happening and we shall examine it before we make the decision to allow him to compete,” Bro Colm added.

Jelimo who re-launched her career with a huge win at the World Indoors in Istanbul last month is also preparing for her first international racing circuit campaign since 2008 when she won the defunct IAAF Golden League.

“It has been three years out there and it feels good to be back. It is my hope that this season I shall complete the circuit but for now, I’m taking one race at a time,” she said.

“From Mumias, I shall return for training before going to Doha and for now, I’m not thinking about times or winning, I just want to run and then see,” the world junior women 800m record holder (1:54.01) added.

Her coach, Ben Englehardt, said they were preparing the Beijing champion to compete within her abilities without applying too much pressure on her to perform.

“So many things have changed since 2008 when she was unbeatable but I believe she is still the strongest 800m female runner out there. After recovering from injury and other set backs, she needs to build-up step by step,” the Arizona State University alumnus explained.

According to Athletics Kenya (AK), 1000 runners are expected in what is billed to be the most populated meet of the series outside the nationals in June.

Kiprop and his bridesmaid from Daegu, Silas Kiplagat are also expected among other stellar acts who will use the event as a final local build-up.

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