Kenya, Ethiopia Rivalry Goes to the U.S.

Yenew Alamirew

BY MARIA MACHARIA

Nairobi — KENYA and Ethiopia will resume their rivalry in the United States later this month when they are expected to dominate the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

The race is slated for May 31.

The forthcoming event would see Kenya’s Isaiah Kiplagat Koech battle out with Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirew and Hagos Gebrhiwet in a race likely to ignite the entire world with enthusiasm.

Besides Kiplagat, John Kipkoech, Edwin Soi and Caleb Ndiku will be in the running to retain Kenya’s pride.

Kenyan-born-American athlete, Bernard Lagat also appears to be a serious threat to both Kenyans’ and Ethiopians’ ambitions of clinching the competition.

Nonetheless, Ethiopia’s Alamirew, who last weekend won the 5 000m International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 13:04.83 at Diamond League in Shanghai, China, remains a firm favourite.

Gebrhiwet, another Ethiopian comes highly-rated after settling for a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia when he clocked a record 12:47.53 sometime in July last year.

On the other hand, our own Kenyan – Kiplagat cannot be intimidated as he won the World’s 5,000m bronze last year before being boosted by weekend’s emphatic gold medal win at the National Police Championships at Nyayo Stadium.

The Prefontaine Classic was named after American legendary Steve Prefontaine, who emerged the country’s greatest distance runner at the time of his death in 1975 at age 24.

The 2014 meeting will be the 40th annual edition, with Nike providing title sponsorship for 31 consecutive years.

An estimated crowd of 12 000 is expected to witness this contest at Hayward Field.

Source: Caj News Agency

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