EUGENE, Oregon, March 25- Kenya’s Milcah Chemos will bring her gold-medal smile and steeplechase talent back to the Prefontaine Classic in what is shaping up as a Kenya v Ethiopia battle over the barriers on 31 May, organisers for the IAAF Diamond League meeting announced on Monday.
Chemos, the 2013 IAAF World Championships winner, is the fourth fastest ever in the event, with a best of 9:07.14 and she is the only runner to win the women’s steeplechase at the Pre Classic, doing it twice.
Her most recent Pre Classic victory, 9:13.69 in 2012, led a parade of the five fastest ever on American soil. Her success is especially notable in the IAAF Diamond League, having won the Diamond Race in her event every year since the inaugural season in 2010.
Her opponents at the historic Hayward Field, which will stage the IAAF World Junior Championships later this summer, include the two women he finished directly behind her in Moscow, her compatriot and silver medalist Lidya Chepkurui and bronze medalist Sofia Assefa, from Ethiopia.
The loaded field also includes Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew, who finished just out of the medals in fourth place in Moscow. Ayalew also claimed a silver medal at last year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
London 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist Habiba Ghribi, from Tunisia, and the Kenyan pair of Purity Kirui and Fancy Cherotich will also be on the start line.
The U.S. will be represented by 2012 Olympians Emma Coburn and Bridget Franek, both finalists in London, as well as Jamie Cheever, the second-fastest American last year after Coburn.
European interests will be represented by Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan and Germany’s Gesa-Felicitas Krause, the latter is the European junior record holder.