NAIROBI, Kenya, August 17- World Indoor champion, Hellen Obiri and two-time Diamond League winner, Milcah Chemos, are among the Kenyan distance stars out to salvage their reputations on Friday night in Stockholm after disappointing at London Olympics.
Obiri who propped the field in the women 1500m final in 4:16.7 is ranked fifth in the Diamond League standing in the event but she faces another cracking line-up in a bid to restore her pride.
Bahrain’s Maryam Jamal the former two-time World champion who took in bronze in London and Ethiopia’s world leader Abebe Aregawi, the fifth place at the Olympics who has improved to 3:56.54 this season are the athletes to watch in this race.
For Chemos, the two-time Worlds bronze winner, not medalling in London on her Olympics debut was emotionally draining as she arrived at the finish in 9:09.88 to place just outside the podium.
She has an instant opportunity of taking on all the medallists from London in the shape of Russian winner Yuliya Zaripova who is also the Zurich record holder, Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia and Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia who trailed the London victor for the minor places in the rostrum.
Olympics 5000m bronze winner, Thomas Longosiwa, is the man to beat in a loaded men 3000m cast that includes compatriots Isaiah Kiplangat who came fifth, the Beijing 2008 silver medallist, Eliud Kipchoge and African titleholder Edwin Soi who crashed out at the heats in London.
Former world junior titleholder, Caleb Ndiku, Collins Cheboi, Vincent Chepkok, Geoffrey Barusei and John Kipkoech are the other Kenyans penned to feature in the race.
Reuben Bett has the prized scalps of Worlds silver medallist, Abubaker Kaki of Sudan and Ethiopian Mohammed Aman the World Indoor gold winner who featured in the epic London final to aim for in the men’s 800m race.
However, the main focus in this two-lap event will be the Olympics 1500m champion, Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi who caused a stir in London when he pulled out of the men 800m heats that saw him initially barred from competing by IAAF before he was reinstated for the metric mile final by the IOC.