ATHLETICS: World Olympic Champion to Renew Rivalry with African counterpart

Steeplechase rivals Conseslus Kipruto and Soufiane El Bakkali (PHOTO/IAAF/Courtesy)

An eagerly awaited clash on the track in the men’s 3000m steeplechase will feature Kenya’s world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto and 2018 world leader Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.

They two were involved in one of the most dramatic and unforgettable races of 2018 in Zurich where Kipruto overhauled El Bakkali in the home straight to clinch the Diamond League title – 8:10.15 to 8:10.19 – despite losing his left spike on the second lap.

“That was a victory I will never forget,” said Kipruto. “I had a lot of pain in my left foot but I fought until the end.

“I am looking forward to opening my track season here in Doha where I expect another tough race against Soufiane. My main goal in 2019 is to defend my title at the World Championships but I want to start my track season with a victory here.”

The line-up also features fellow Kenyans Amos Kirui, Benjamin Kigen and Leonard Bett along with Ethiopia’s Chala Beyo, who won the steeplechase in Doha last year when it was a non-scoring event.

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