NAIROBI, June 11 – World junior champion David Rudisha and World Indoor Champion Abubaker Kaki will renew their rivalry at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava on Thursday night.
Sudan’s Kaki came out on top in the first meeting of the two teenagers who have been tipped to dominate the two lap race for the next decade. Kaki timed a world leading time of 1:42.69 to beat Rudisha who clocked a personal best of 1:43.72 at the Bislett Golden League meet in Oslo last week.
Kaki’s time was a World junior record for the Sudanese sensation and the fastest in the world in five years and Rudisha will be seeking get his own back at the affable Sudanese in what promises to be a bruising battle.
Others in the field include Kenyans Boaz Lalang, Asbel Kiprop and Gilbert Choge, and 2001 world bronze medallist Pawel Czapiewski of Poland, who signaled a returned to form with his B race victory in Berlin.
Commonwealth games champion Augustine Choge, 2003 World champion Eliud Kipchoge and Africa silver medallist Isaac Songok will be chasing Olympic qualification times in the men’s 5,000 metres.
Choge has been in fine form in 1500 metres this season while Songok pushed Kenenisa Bekele close at last month’s Africa Athletics Championships.
2006 junior World Cross Country champion Mangata Ndiwa continues his comeback from a long lay off. Other Kenyans in the race will include Vincent Kiprop, Timothy Kiptoo, Robert Sigei and Eric Chirchir.
The Kenyan trio of Linet Masai, Doris Changeywo and Grace Momanyi will run in the women’s 10,000 metres seeking to hit the Olympic qualifying mark.
The trio will however have to contend with Ethiopian sensation Tirunesh Dibaba who set a new 5,000 metres world record last week.
Still only 22, The two time World 10,000m champion’s 30:15.67 personal best from 2005 ranks her as the ninth fastest ever, and with her streak of success continuing at the World Cross Country Championships, she is already well on her way to ranking among the all-time distance greats.
She will be joined by older sister Ejegayehu who has a 30:18.39 to her credit; Werknesh Kidane, whose 30:07.15 ranks her as the fourth fastest ever; and Benita Johnson, the Australian record holder (30:37.68) in the 10,000m and Marathon.
In other highlights, Usain Bolt who set a new 100metres record of 9.72 seconds will run in his favourite distance-200 metres.
Whether it is his better event remains to be seen, but it was over the half lap that Bolt first made waves internationally.
He clocked a World junior record at 16, has run 19.75 since and last year was the runner-up at the World championships behind Tyson Gay. This race will be his last before the Jamaican Championships 27-29 June, where he intends to double.