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Kiprop set to star in Monaco

08 July 2015, 09:10

Nairobi - Kenyan mid-distance star Asbel Kiprop will be one of the key attractions at the 10th IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season in Monaco on July 17, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

All eyes will be on the two-time world 1,500m champion who is seeking the hat-trick at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August as he uses the Herculis meet in the French Principality to lay his marker ahead of major international event.

Monaco holds a special place for the 26-year-old mid-distance running track luminary since it is at their track that he has posted the three fastest times of his career.

In 2013, he uncorked his sizzling 3:27.72 lifetime best in Monaco before going on to defend the world title he first won at the 2011 edition in Daegu, South Korea, when the biennial track and field showpiece was held in Moscow, Russia.

Last season, Kiprop announced he would attack the world record of 3:26.00 held by his Moroccan idol and retired double Olympics champion, Hicham El Guerrouj, in the French Principality.

However, his bid came crashing down to his bitter domestic rival and Moscow Worlds silver medalist Silas Kiplagat, who beat him with his barnstorming personal best performance of 3:27.64.

Kiprop still ran a season's best 3:28.45, his second fastest race over the distance but the damage to his confidence was evident when he was stunned by Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman to both the African and IAAF Continental Championships titles later that summer.

The Beijing 2008 Olympics crown holder restored some measure of his pride when he beat Souleiman, Kiplagat and a loaded field to top honors at the June 11 star-studded Mile race at the Bislett Games Diamond League meeting in Oslo in his latest outing.

His watchers know a commanding performance at his favorite track in Monaco will set the stage for a possible world-title winning show in China, having dipped under the 3:30 barrier for the first time when he won the 2012 meeting in 3:28.88.

British double Olympics and world champion, Mo Farah, leads the challengers to the favored Kiprop beside Commonwealth champion and compatriot, James Kiplagat Magut, New Zealand veteran Nick Willis as well as American dangerous pair Leo Manzano and Matthew Centrowitz.

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- Xinhua


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