NAIROBI, July 21 – Africa 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Richard Mateelong will be among five Kenyan Olympic team athletes who will take part in the DN Galan athletics meet in Stockholm on Tuesday night.
The 24 year old Police instructor will be looking to improve on last week’s horror show at a Golden League meet in Paris where he finished a poor seventh in his specialty in a pedestrian time of 8:16.43.
The result was a shocker as he has been the most inform steeplechaser this season with wins in Doha and Hengelo to add onto his continental triumph in Addis Ababa and a good showing albeit in 3,000 metres flat will do his confidence a world of good.
Another athlete who will be seeking improvement will be Thomas Longosiwa. He also had an abysmal outing in Paris finishing 13th and an improved performance here will put him in good stead ahead of next month’s games.
The duo will however have to contend with Edwin Soi who is in fine form. The double World Athletics Final winner sped to 3,000 metres victory in last week in Paris with his finishing kick again proving too much for the rest of the field.
World junior 10,000 metres silver medalist Titus Mbishei, Africa 5,000 metres silver medalist Isaac Songok, Mark Kiptoo, Joseph Ebuya and Abraham Chebii will also be on show in a classy field.
In the men’s 1,000metres race, Africa bronze medalist Justus Koech, Richard Kiplagat, Jackson Kivuva and Geoffrey Rono will have to be at their best to stop Sudan’s sensation Abubaker Kaki.
The World Indoor and Junior champion will attempt to break Noah Ngeny’s 1,000 metres record of 2:11.96 with countryman Abdelgadir Abdalla helping with pacemaking duties. Olympic 800 metres champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy is also in the field
Africa 5,000 metres bronze medalist Grace Momanyi who will represent the country in 10,000 metres race at the Olympics will test her speed in the women’s 5,000 metres. The 27 year old has been in fine form since recovering from a long term injury.
She will have Sylvia Kibet for company. The mother of one is the 5,000 metres team for they Olympics and it will also be her last race before the Beijing showpiece event.
With most Kenyan top steeplechasers getting ready for the Olympics, former World junior champion Mike Kipyego who was second in Paris will be the main attraction in the barrier race.
Wesley Kiprotich, Silas Kiptum and national champion Patrick Langat will also be on show with Sweden’s Mustafa Mohammed looking to spoil the Kenyan party.