Team Kenya send warning shot ahead of the Olympics

Olympic bound Faith Kipyegon and Hyvin Kiyeng dominate the Monaco Diamond League.

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon celebrates after winning the final of the women's 1,500m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on August 7, 2017

Faith Kipyegon laid down a huge marker for her chances of retaining the Olympic women’s 1500 metres title in Tokyo as she lowered her national record to 3min 51.07sec.

The Olympic bound athlete moved to fourth on the all-time fastest list after beating Dutch rival, Sifan Hassan at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday.

"I thought I could run faster than that," Kipyegon said.

"I knew Sifan was going for a fast race and my goal was to run a fast race here and I thank God that was.

"I am really looking forward to Tokyo and I know it will be a very hard competition but I hope to go there and defend my title".

The three women above her in the all-time list are Chinese athletes Jiang Bo and Qu Yunxia, who set respective marks of 3:50.98 and 3:50.46 in 1997 and 1993, and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who set the world record of 3:50.07 in Monaco six years ago.

At the summer games, Kipyegon will be participating in her third Olympics. At the 2012 London Olympics, she made her debut but failed to make it out of the heats.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kipyegon announced herself to the world.

She matched world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba’s trademark mid-race break in the 1500m final before pulling away from the Ethiopian on the last lap to become the second Kenyan winner of the title in Olympic history.

Hyvin Kiyeng

In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase world champion and record holder Beatrice Chepkoech was beaten once again by her compatriot, the 2015 world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, who won in a season’s best of 9:03.82, with Chepkoech second in 9:04.94.

Training in Kaptagat under the guidance of a three-strong coaching team led by Patrick Sang – himself an Olympic medallist, Kiyeng will be heading to Tokyo, mentally and physically ready.

This will be the 29-year-olds second Olympics after the 2016 Rio Games where she finished second behind Kenyan born-Bahraini, Ruth Jebet.

Will Cheruiyot make the team?

Timothy Cheruiyot, the world 1500 metres champion stands a chance to make a late entry into the Kenyan Olympic team following last night's victory over a stellar field including his 20-year-old rival Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

Erik Sowinski paced the race perfectly with a 54.20 opening lap followed by a 56.55 to take the pack through 1200m in 1:50.75.

Cheruiyot, not originally named as one of the three chosen 1500m runners for Tokyo after finishing fourth in the Kenyan trials, made it clear afterwards that he now expects to make the trip to the Olympics.

"I missed competition a lot after spending a lot of time in Kenya where I had a few issues like my hamstring injury and after also losing a relative in my family on the day of the Kenyan trials explaining why I missed out on making the team," said Cheruiyot.

"I am therefore happy I am back again after all this.

"Hopefully that will be the deciding performance to make the team for Tokyo.

"My hope now is to be in another Olympics, that is where my mindset is and I will be very happy if I achieve that".


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