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Eyes on podium

Commonwealth Games 1500m silver medallist Ronald Kwemoi is spoiling for a podium finish at the next month’s World Championships in London to atone for his no-show at the previous event in Beijing two year’s ago.
And if his form in the Diamond League circuit and local races is anything to go by, then the young athlete from Mt.Elgon could achieve that what he so keen of.
However, it will not be a walk in the park as experienced three-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi and national champion Timothy Cheruiyot hold similar ambitions having made the cut in Team Kenya.
Kwemoi brought down Asbel for the first time last year during the Monaco Diamond League. This season, after an impressive run at the national trials, Kwemoi clocked 3:49.04 at the Bowerman Mile at the Eugene Diamond League beating Manang’oi and Cheruiyot to second and third respectively as Asbel faded off.
He also competed in 3000m at the Paris leg coming second.
World Leader over the distance, Cheruiyot, is keen on making his debut in Team Kenya, count.
Cheruiyot who comes from Bomet County clocked 3:30.77 at the Stockholm meet to erase the 3:31.90 previous world lead time set by Manangoi in Doha.
“It is so prestigious to be in Team Kenya and my expectation is to come home with a medal,” Cheruiyot said.
“I have gained a lot of experience in the last two seasons and I will be competing with the requisite tactics befitting a championship,” said Cheruiyot.
Many have said Asbel is keeping his card close to his chest and that with his experience, he might surprise all and sundry in London.
Asbel made his first appearance in the DL this year at the Eugene race and headed to London where he finished third in 800m.
That was after successfully anchoring Team Kenya to victory in the inaugural mixed relay category at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala in March.
He revealed that his main focus is to win a fourth title at the world stage to equal world record holder Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj’s feat spanning between 1997 and 2003.
“If I win in London, I will join Hicham as the only athletes to have won four times in a row. My preparations are well at the moment,” Asbel said.
After finishing fourth in his inaugural world championships in 2007 in Osaka and repeating it at the 2009 show in Berlin, Asbel went on to win in Daegu (2011), Moscow (2013) and Beijing (2015).
“I started my career in Osaka which was my breakthrough though I finished fourth but it was fulfilling since I was entering the world championships for the first time. I went to Berlin and placed fourth and from then, I have been winning gold. I hope to defend it in London next month,” he added.
Manangoi made his international appearance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow finishing 12th before heading to Beijing where he placed second behind Asbel.
His debut at the Olympics in Rio last year ended prematurely after he picked an injury in the preliminary stages.

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