MELBOURNE, March 1 – Kenya's Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop will this week headline an international contingent of athletes at the IAAF Melbourne Track Classic, organisers said Monday.Kiprop, 20, who was confirmed as the 2008 Olympic gold medallist after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his Beijing title for doping, will feature in Thursday’s strong 1500m field.
Joining Kiprop will be reigning Commonwealth champion and Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis of New Zealand, fellow Kenyan Collins Chemboi and Australian champion Jeff Riseley.
Kiprop, who has a personal best time of 3:31.20 over 1500m, will reprise his rivalry with Beijing Olympics runner-up Willis.
Kiprop boosts an overseas group for the IAAF-sanctioned track classic which includes dual Olympic 400m medallist David Neville of the United States, Kenyan 800m runner David Rudisha, Finland’s former world javelin champion Tero Pitkamaki and world and Olympic shot put champion Valerie Vili of New Zealand.
Australia’s world and Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker, world discus champion Dani Samuels, world championships long jump bronze medallist Mitchell Watt and Beijing Olympic 100m hurdles silver medallist Sally McLellan are also competing.