World steeplechase record holder leads elite runners to Shanghai DL

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World 3,000m steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech starts favourite in her speciality during the second IAAF Diamond League meeting set for May 18. 

She will be up against European 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan and world indoor record-holder Yomif Kejelcha. 

Chepkoech, who is ranked No.1 in the steeplechase, hopes to repeat last year’s dramatic victory when she takes on 2015 world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, world ranked No.2, world U20 champion Celliphine Chespol, world ranked No.5, and 2016 African champion Norah Jeruto, world ranked No.4.

Chepkoech won last year’s race when Jeruto slipped and fell on the home straight after the pair had broken free before the final lap.

Bahrain’s Asian champion Winfred Yavi, world ranked No.7, and Ugandan teenager Peruth Chemutai, world ranked No.8, will also be among those to watch as they seek to break up the Kenyan train.

Sifan Hassan, world ranked No.1 over 5000m, will step back down to the 1500m, the distance she contested when she first raced in Shanghai back in 2014.

Since then, she has become one of the best distance runners in the world, winning four European titles, a world indoor 1,500m title and two world bronze medals.

The Dutch distance runner will face 2016 world indoor bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay, world ranked No.2 at 1,500m, 2016 world indoor silver medallist Dawit Seyaum, African champion Winny Chebet, world ranked No.6, Nelly Jepkosgei, world ranked No.13, and USA’s 2013 world silver medallist Brenda Martinez, world ranked No.29.

The men’s 5000m promises to be equally enthralling with a line-up containing Ethiopia’s world indoor and outdoor champions, Yomif Kejelcha and Muktar Edris, world ranked No.2 and No.6 respectively, going head to head alongside USA’s world and Olympic medallist Paul Chelimo, world ranked No.5, and Morocco’s 2012 world indoor 1500m champion Abdelaati Iguider.

Add to the picture world 5000m No.1 Selemon Berega, who ran the fastest 5,000m of 2018 to win the IAAF Diamond League final last August, plus fellow Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet, world ranked No.4, who was second in Brussels, and there’s quite a race in prospect in Shanghai.

The 2019 Shanghai Diamond League meeting on 18 May features 16 international events, nine for men (100m, 200m, 400m, 5000m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, high jump, long jump, javelin) and seven for women (100m, 400m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, pole vault, shot put, javelin).

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