Nairobi — Recently crowned 800m World Champion Mary Moraa has announced she will not be competing in the Brussels leg of the Diamond League on Friday night, despite her name appearing on the start sheet.
Moraa who was to run the 400m in Belgium announced on her socials that she had not travelled for the meet but will instead focus on the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
“Unfortunately, I won’t dance for you this evening at the Brussels Diamond League. I was to compete in the 400m but failed to travel due to unavoidable circumstances. However, expect me at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Finals in Oregon, USA where I am set to defend my 800m title, and perhaps, unleash the last jig of this incredible season. Wishing my colleagues competing in Brussels best of luck,” Moraa posted on her official Facebook account.
While Moraa will not be competing, there will be several Kenyans to watch out for.
Youngster Nelly Chepchirchir will be competing in the women’s 1500m as the sole Kenyan in the competitive startlist, with Purity Chepkirui pacing.
Chepchirchir will look to pick some morale boosting victory to add on to her relatively successful debut in the World Championships, where she finished fifth and ran a personal best time of 3:57.90.
The Australian duo of Linden Hall and Jessica Hull as well as Great Britain’s Laura Muir are some of the athletes to watch out for, competing against the lanky Kenyan youngster.
Meanwhile World Championship finalists Abel Kipsang and Reynold Cheruiyot will step up a distance higher when they compete in the unconventional men’s 2,000m, away from their usual 1500m.
Kipsang, fourth placer at the World Champs finished third in Zurich and is bidding for a win in Brussels, but competition will be aplenty. Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, world champion over the 5,000m and silver medalist in the 1500m, will also be on the line to start in a distance that will be comfortable for him.
Kenyans Boaz Kiprugut and Cornelius Tuwei have been tasked with pacing duties in this race.
Elsewhere, another World Championship rep, Wycliffe Kinyamal, will be competing in the men’s 800m. Kinyamal failed to qualify for his traditional race at the World Champs and instead ran the 4x400m mixed relays, where Kenya didn’t make the final.
Kinyamal is the current Diamond Trophy leader with 30 points, followed by Emmanuel Wanyonyi who is five points behind after winning in Xiamen last weekend. Victory for the Commonwealth Games champion will assure him of a healthy lead ahead of the final in Eugene.
Algerians Mouala Slimane and Djamel Sedjati who are at arm’s length in the race for the Diamond Trophy will also be on the line. Kenya’s Collins Kipruto has been tasked with pacing duties.
At the same time, there will be several Kenyans lining up in the women’s 5,000m. Lilian Kasait, who is second in the Diamond Trophy standings behind Beatrice Chebet will lead the Kenyan contingent as she looks to close the gap on her compatriot who is not competing.
Also in the race is Grace Nawowuna as well as Edinah Jebitok and Winnie Jemutai.