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Kiplagat headlines Stockholm charge

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 26- A tantalising clash in the men’s 1500m awaits the DN Galan Samsung Diamond League meet in Stockholm with all three selected in the Kenyan team for the Daegu Worlds in action.

In form Commonwealth champion, Silas Kiplagat, who blasted to the world leading 3:30.47 in Monaco last week has another quality field to contend with.

Olympics champion, Asbel Kiprop, whom he led to the altar at the Trials for Daegu and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen who finished third in that race, will also line-up for the start.

Nixon Chepseba, who before Monaco was the world leader in the men’s Metric Mile rankings, also features in the deep field.

The 21-year-old is out to prove a point after his controversial axing from the World Championships squad last Wednesday with Kipchirchir Komen taking his place.

He was second to Kiplagat in Monaco and finished fourth at the Trials.

World junior champion, Caleb Mwangangi, Collins Cheboi, Nicholas Kemboi, Bethwell Birgen and Justus Koech who missed out on the Daegu tickets will relish the change of lording it over the selected trio.

Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin and Henok Legesse and New Zealander Nick Willis among others are in the frame of challenging the Kenyan troupe.

Commonwealth and Africa titleholder, Richard Mateelong, who slumped to fifth in Monaco, will be seeking the perfect riposte in the men 3000m steeplechase.

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Mateelong, virtually untouchable last year where he also added the Continental Cup title in Split, is among the men water and barriers headliners scorched by Olympic champion, Brimin Kipruto who elevated himself to number two fastest all time in Monaco.

Diamond League champion, Paul Kipsiele Koech, who once again paled at the Kenyan Trials before doing the donkey work for Kipruto in Monaco, is keen to secure vital points with the consolation of retaining the elite circuit title in his sights.

World junior champion, Jonathan Muia, Elijah Chelimo, Jairus Kipchoge and Bernard Mbugua are as well in the fray with Ethiopia’s Gari Roba, the African bronze winner, and Uganda’s Benjamin Kiplagat, a world medallist at junior level, shaping as the outside competition to the Kenyan charge.

The women’s 5000m will witness another large helping of Kenya’s Daegu cast stretch their legs led by the world champion over the distance, Vivian Cheruiyot who was scheduled to depart for Sweden on Tuesday night.

“I’m aiming to continue my preparations for Korea in Stockholm and I will do my best,” she told Capital Sport just before her departure.

Berlin silver medallist, Sylvia Kibet, who won the Kenyan trial (Cheruiyot won the longer 10000m) and World junior champion, Mercy Cherono who made the Korea-bound team will also compete.

They will be joined in the imposing field by Sally Kipyego and Priscah Jepleting Cherono who shared the podium with Cheruiyot at the Trials, Commonwealth titleholder Grace Momanyi and former World Cross junior champion, Pauline Korikwiang who missed the cut.

Helen Obiri, who carved her name by winning the Kenyan women 1500m Trial ahead of Olympic champion, Nancy Jebet Langat, Viola Kibiwott who also made the Korea Metric Mile team in addition to Irene Jelagat who missed the Daegu party at the same distance are included.

Steeplechaser Mercy Njoroge, the Commonwealth silver winner who qualified for Korea by finishing second to Milcah Chemos completes the Kenyan women 5000m roster for Stockholm that will have US World Cross bronze winner, Shalane Flanagan and Ethiopia’s Emebet Anteneh as the main opposition.

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Eunice Sum, a protégé of Olympics and Berlin silver medallist, Janeth Jepkosgei, who will make her first Worlds appearance in Daegu, will plough the lone Kenyan furrow in Stockholm in the women’s 800m.

On Monday, Athletics Kenya (AK) called on all selected runners for the Daegu Worlds to be back in camp next Tuesday meaning Stockholm will be the last stop before Korea.

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