Kenya and Ethiopia to renew rivalry in 3000m race tonight

The top five fastest indoor 3000m athletes are all Ethiopian

Kenya's Hellen Obiri (R) and Ethiopia's Meseret Defar (R) race at the front in the women's 3000m final at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Istanbul on March 11, 2012. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya will be looking to put a stop to Ethiopia's dominance in the women’s 3,000m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships as the competition kicks off today, March 18.

On Friday night at exactly 10:25pm, Beatrice Chebet and Edinah Jebitok will be up against the strong Ethiopian trio of Lemlem Hailu, Ejgayehu Taye and Dawit Seyaum.

Chebet raced four times over cross country at the start of the year with just one outing on the track, a fourth-place finish in Lievin over 3000m in 8:41.92. She was an 8:27.49 performer outdoors last year while Jebitok clocked a Personal Best of 8:45.46 last month.

Hailu on the other hand secured her wild card spot by taking 3000m victory on last year’s World Athletics Indoor Tour, while Seyaum and Taye ensured selection by going 1-2 in Lievin last month, clocking 8:23.24 and 8:26.77 respectively.

Of the 21 athletes entered in Friday’s final, Seyaum and Taye lead the global rankings Taye is ranked second with a 10th fastest all-time 8:26.77 while Chebet is ranked seventh (8:41.92), Jebitok 13th and wild-card entry Hailu (8:29.28) is the 16th fastest ever.

The return of the World Indoors

Since the inaugural edition in 1987, the World Indoors has never had a hiatus as long as this. But four years on since the 2018 championships in Birmingham, the World Indoor Championships is ready to return.

Besides the women’s 3,000m final, Kenyans will also be in action in various qualifying races.

Jebitok, who is chasing a 1,500m and 3,000m double, will first navigate the 1,500m heats from 2.20pm with Collins Kipruto and Noah Kibet in action in the 800m heats from 2.50pm.

Jacob Krop and Daniel Simiu will then feature in the 3,000m preliminaries from 3.25pm.

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